Developments in technology have a direct impact on our own discipline by directly or indirectly facilitating the expansion of our existing knowledge base, theory, and subsequent applications. A quick overview of HF/E historical trends confirms this position, as our field has evolved from the physical and perceptual to the cognitive; from system design orientation and macroergonomics to ecological, affective, and information ergonomics. The most recent illustration of technology stimulating the evolution of our field is the advent of neuroergonomics (Parasuraman, 2003).
I am confident that we will continue this theme and successfully adapt nanotechnology to enhance human performance and improve the quality of human life by developing and applying a new domain: nanoergonomics (Karwowski, 2005). But how will nanotechnology affect what we do? From the
HF/E point of view, nanotechnology may enable us to access the human central nervous system in order to preserve and enhance our perceptual and cognitive abilities, integrate important features of human cognition into machines, or develop cognitive prosthetics.