Digital revolution: student touts prosthetic third thumb

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LONDON (Reuters) – “I’ve only got one pair of hands”, is the refrain of overworked office staff or stressed parents everywhere.

But now a design student is suggesting that it could be possible to have more, with a prosthetic third thumb to aid productivity.

The thumb is the brainchild of Dani Clode, a product design student at London’s Royal Academy of Art. She calls her 3D-printed Third Thumb a human hand extension.

    “It’s an exploration into human extension and human augmentation, as well as better understanding the connection that develops between body and prosthetic technology,” she told Reuters.

The thumb sits below the little finger, opposite its natural counterpart, and straps on a like a watch. The device is controlled wirelessly by sensors worn on the feet.

Clode says she was fascinated with the idea of using prosthetics to augment the human body, rather than to replace a lost appendage.

“I really like this idea of re-framing prosthetics as extensions to the body rather than anything that fixes or replaces”, she said.

Clode says there are no plans to copyright or market the Third Thumb and she sees it more as a thought piece and catalyst for discussion.

Reporting by Stuart McDill; Writing by Mark Hanrahan; Editing by Alison Williams