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The Argus Retinal Prosthesis is the first of its kind—a bionic retinal implant that helps people see in the same way a hearing aid helps people hear. The Argus II was approved and released commercially in the United States in this year and received a firmware update that granted users color vision. The Argus II is a peek into the future—a glance into a future where once these implants get good enough, a bionic eye will be better than a natural human one.
hard drives filled with helium
Besides just sounding cool, the new helium-filled hard drives introduced by Western Digital this year are a game-changer in storage technology. To put it simply, because their new highly efficient hard drives are filled with helium rather than air, they can now cram 6 TB of capacity into a single drive. You probably won’t be buying one of these any time soon, but with big cloud-centered companies taking part, you just might feel the benefits as a consumer of services like Netflix (especially now that 4K streaming has been announced).
Although the Oculus Rift hasn’t seen its commercial release yet, developer kits are out—and the experience has been stunning the world. With its lag-free head tracking and HD displays, this Kickstarter-funded, virtual reality headset is the only one that has ever mattered. If the way it took the game development community by storm in 2013 is any sign, 2014 will be the year the Oculus Rift becomes the sought-after piece of mainstream commercial hardware that it’s always meant to be.
Not only have 3D printers successfully breached the mainstream commercial market, they’re also now being used to do things that seem like something right out of a science fiction film. 2013 saw the printing of things like the first workable gun, jet parts, and even a human embryonic stem cell.