Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Or at least a guy who can see more colors than everyone else. That’s still pretty cool.
In 2010, 46 year old Alek Komar, a former Air Force officer and engineer who had always used eyeglasses and contacts to correct his nearsightedness found out that he had a cataract on his right eye. The following year, Komar decided to have surgical implants to deal with his cataract and fix his vision once and for all. The surgery ended up being a huge success, so huge in fact, that Alek can now see something human’s shouldn’t.. he can see ultraviolet light.
“So being the over-analytical engineer, I’ve done various “tests” of my UV vision,” Komar wrote on his website. It’s a little harder now that both eyes have been done (which I’m very thankful for from a visual acuity perspective), since I can not compare/test myself with and without natural lens. I can see much better than others in a dark room lit only with a “black light” … although ironically, other people can see fluorescence (stuff that glows in the dark) better than me because it stands out more – i.e. the rest of the room is dark for them!”
Alek has gone on to test his new “super power” by comparing his vision with everything from the neighborhood kids (“they seem to see a bit more color glow on the black light, but nothing close to the huge difference I see with a UV filter or polycarbonate glasses”) to actually having his strange abilities tested in a lab. In November of 2011, Alek met with Andy Gorek from Hewlett Packard who thought his talents were worth putting to the test.
“Andy had done some testing a week or so earlier with some co-workers and the vision cut-out for the 40-50 year olds was around 410-430nm. As shown in the test results, I was able to see quite a bit below that and still saw a bit of purple at 350nm and a tiny bit of brightness down to 340nm. So this seems to conclusively prove that I’m able to see into the Ultraviolet spectrum.”
So how does Alek Komar plan to use his newly proven powers of ultraviolet sensitivity?
“Sports Illustrated should hire me for sunscreen quality control when they shoot their swimsuit issue!”
Ah, the perks of having superpowers.
To view some more of the fascinating, in-depth tests that Alek has done on his vision (complete with handy animated images), be sure to check out his ongoing updates posted at Komar.org.