HUMAN+ The Future of Our Senses brings viewers into the enigmatic world of scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs who are revolutionizing the way people see, touch, taste, hear, and smell. Each episode delves into the awe-inspiring and emotional stories of people whose lives are being transformed through some of the most cutting-edge advances in technology of the five senses: touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell.
EPISODE 1 : TOUCH
The sense of touch is an invisible force of human nature. Not only does it perceive tiny elements that our eyes can’t see, but it plays a vital role in our lives. It has an important influence on our physical capacity, our cerebral functioning, and our well-being. Without it, we’d be completely lost. Today, touch is undergoing a revolution. Science has pushed the limits of nature thanks to technological touch. It is now possible to touch objects virtually that are invisible or located thousands of kilometres away. A simple movement in the air is enough to control them. Medical technology has even succeeded in giving a sense of touch to bionic limbs made of metal, plastic, wires, and processors. Slowly but surely, prostheses are starting to perform better than natural limbs. Ten years ago, who could have imagined that science would have advanced so quickly? Virtual touch will, soon be part of our daily lives. How far will this revolution take us?
EPISODE 2 : SIGHT
The science of sight has entered a new era. We are starting to understand how a few rare individuals can see better or see faster. We meet a woman who can see a hundred more colors than the average human being, and a heavyweight boxer who undergoes sophisticated training to increase the speed of his visual reflexes and acuity. Becoming superhuman, these individuals are examples of what we all may aspire to. As silicon and carbon meld and point the way to our bionic future, we discover how technology is starting to replace or enhance vision for those who have lost it. We witness the moment when a husband and father, equipped with an experimental retinal implant, sees his wife and child for the first time. We meet a young student who can “see” with his tongue. And we find how connectivity and miniaturization can give all blind people the gift of seeing through another person’s eyes.
EPISODE 3 : HEARING
As the mysteries of hearing are revealed, we see how technology and scientific progress are working to restore, replace, or supercharge this enormously powerful human sense. We meet a young man who shows us the potential of musical hearing and a blind man whose hearing is so acute that he can navigate a bicycle by the sound of the echo of a click. As technology starts to merge with humanity, we meet true bionic pioneers: the recipients of cochlear implants who demonstrate how the brain can learn to interpret a new synthetic sense. We discover hearing aids that surpass the ear’s natural acoustic abilities and even read the brain’s intentions. There are researchers working to use sound to improve cognition and memory while we sleep. And we learn how one company is developing an innovative, effective technology that uses the skin as a conduit to pass sound to the brain.
EPISODE 4 : TASTE AND SMELL
Smelling is as natural as breathing. Sixteen times a minute, you breathe the air that passes through your nose to fill your lungs. Billions of molecules passing through your nasal cavities are captured by the cells of your olfactory organ. Your sense of smell is much more developed than you might imagine. In your genetic code, 400 genes make up the receptors of your sense of smell. You are able to smell billions of odors. Yes, your nose is capable of astonishing exploits! Scientists and others are presently working in the realms of taste and smell to understand their powers. They are bringing to light the mystery that, from conception to adulthood, reveals a fabulous potential. Tomorrow, your nose will help you uncover disease, vanquish pain, lower your stress level, improve your social life, make you feel safe, learn and improve your well-being. All these incredible powers will be in your hands: all you have to do is discover them!
EPISODE 5 : ORCHESTRA OF THE SENSES
Sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell send sensory messages to the brain at a speed of 430km/hr. The two cerebral hemispheres deal with 11 million information signals per second – an imperceptible and continual effort. This continual flow of information is sorted and analyzed by the brain, which directs the senses, organizes them, and improves them without any technological intervention. The brain’s plasticity, which we are only beginning to understand allows it to continually adapt. If you lose one sense, the brain re-organizes and compensates by increasing the power of the other senses. Like an extraordinary talented blind artist who is able to use his fingers to feel the color of the paint before applying it to the canvas. Occasionally, the brain decides to do things differently and orchestrates the senses in an original way, as in the case of synesthetes, who are able to make an association between two senses or more at a time. There are even those able to physically experience the pain of others.
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
Deauville Green Awards – Trophée Or 2019
– Handicap, Diversity, Solidarity Category
Josette D. Normandeau, Amy Webb, André Barro (Canada)
Emmanuel Priou, Nicolas Cennac (France)
Duncan McDowall, Vincent Barthélémy, Yann Renoard, Leo Singer, Thomas Cirotteau
Vincent Barthélémy, Leo Singer, Thomas Cirotteau