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Cyborg activist Neil Harbisson wins battle to have ‘eyeborg’ on passport photo

Neil Harbisson, the British contemporary artist and cyborg activist, has successfully won a battle to have his passport photo include his 'eyeborg' device.

Harbisson was born with a condition that means he can only see the world in black and white, so he had the eyeborg device attached to the back of his skull, where it loops over to sit just above his eyes, acting as a 'third eye'.

The eyeborg encodes colours as musical notes which vibrate in his skull, so Harbisson can experience them, and of course paint them. Indeed he can see colours beyond those the human eye can manage.

Harbisson is also a campaigner for cyborg rights, and argued that the eyeborg was a part of his body, not just a mere piece of technology – and therefore should be included on his passport photo.

And it's an argument with the British Passport Authority that he won, Sky News reports, with Harbisson officially allowed to have his passport mug shot show his implant.

Related: A look at the darker side of Google Glass

Harbisson, like other cyborgs, has been the victim of prejudice and suspicion due to his head-mounted device – and for example has been asked to leave cinemas by staff who believe it to be a recording device.

A couple of years back, Dr Steve Mann, the inventor of the EyeTap Digital Eye Glass back in the late nineties, was attacked by another customer in McDonalds, who tried to rip the permanently attached head-mounted device off Mann's face.

Image Credit: Theonepointeight