MindBullets 20 Years

Wait a sec, I’ve only got three hands

Third arms are a blessing and a curse

Since scientists and doctors collaborated almost a decade ago to fit amputees with robotic arms controlled by their brains, bionic limbs have come a long way. Now it’s possible to strap on a wearable robotic appendage, even if both your arms are fully functional.

Connected wirelessly to your brain by a ‘thinking cap’, you can move your third arm and manipulate your extra limb, just by thought alone. With practice, you become quite dexterous.

What’s really interesting is that you can operate all three hands independently, at the same time! It’s a bit like typing on a phone while walking; simple multitasking, as long as you look where you’re going.

This skill is opening up new avenues for sport and recreation; three-handed jugglers are so adept, it’s astonishing. A special category of contest has been invented for three-armed martial arts (TAMMA), and three-handed racquet ball needs to be seen to be appreciated.

It’s also great to have a third hand to hold your mic if you’re a stand-up comic, or a speaker who likes to use his hands a lot. Domestic chores are so much easier too; think unpacking groceries or cooking, for example.

And that’s where the curse comes in. Even if your job doesn’t involve much manual labour, your boss will expect you to work much faster than before. Augmented people must be more productive. It’s no good complaining: “I’ve only got three hands!”

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.