Cybertechnology is defined as a field of technology that deals with the development of artificial devices or machines that can be surgically implanted into a humanoid form to improve or otherwise augment their physical or mental abilities. Cybertechnological products are known as "Cyberware". There are many types and subclassifications of Cyberware, and they can be found in various different grades of quality.
Types of Cyberware
There are three categories of Cyberware: headware, bodyware and cyberlimbs. Headware is any Cyberware installed in one's head, and bodyware is generally any Cyberware installed in the torso. Cyberlimbs are both a Cybertechnological product and a classification of Cyberware, owing to the fact that cyberlimbs can have equipment and additional Cyberware installed in them in bulk.
Cyberware comes in varying grades of quality. The higher the quality of the cyberware, the less impact it has on the body's ability to cope with Cyberware (or in other words, better quality cyberware reduces the Essence cost of a given piece of cyberware). Better quality Cyberware costs more money to purchase.
- Basic Cyberware - Cyberware for the mass market. Inexpensive, easy to install. Essence inefficient.
- "ɑ" Alphaware - Higher quality Cyberware. High-end mass market products. Also easy to install.
- "β" Betaware - Custom-made Cyberware. Expensive. Much less of an impact on the body than with Basicware.
- "Δ" Deltaware - Highest quality Cyberware. Art-like construction and difficult installation. Most expensive.
Dangers of Cyberware
Aside from the threat of malfunctioning cyberware causing a fatal injury, complications can arise due to issues regarding the installation of cyberware. Specifically, installing too much cyberware in a person is fatal. The body of a metahuman can take a fair amount of stress in regards to having artificial material installed into it, but it will die if too much Cyberware is installed. This limitation can be bypassed with Cybermancy, but that solution comes at great cost both financially, physically and spiritually.
The stress on the body and mind caused by implanted cyberware also has another effect on the Awakened and magically-active. Cyberware implanted in the Awakened typically reduces their ability to use magic. Implanting too much cyberware can eventually remove the ability to use magic completely, turning the magician into a mundane.
The Big Player
- Yamatetsu - Yamatetsu by far is the leader in cybernetics. They do anything and everything that has to do with cyberware. They have access to all grades of cyberware and their CrashCart subsidiary offers clinics that do implantation.
- Cross Applied Technologies - CATCo focuses on headware and manufacturing. They have access to all grades of cyberware, but sometimes must obtain it from other corporations.
- Renraku - Mostly focuses on headware and Matrix research. Their subsidiary Iris Firmware creates microelectronics for cyberlimbs to cybereyes. They do very little implantation work.
- Shiawase - The Japanacorp that does everything, Shiawase's subsidiary, Shiawase Biotech, is an entire division dedicated to cybertechnology and its sister industries, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology. Many consider them the first developers of Delta-grade cyberware. Their manufacturing arm produces only high-end goods, and they own a few exclusive private clinics for implantation.
- DocWagon - DocWagon is the number one company in the world for implanting and repairing cyberware, typically dealing with standard and alpha grade cyberware.
- Novatech - As Fuchi, they claimed the top cybernetic spot, but Novatech has taken a major hit to its research and development to stay alive, and thus the company only focuses on matrixware and cyberdecks. However, they own a deltaware manufacturing, research, and implanting clinic.
- Saeder-Krupp - S-K covers all aspects of cyberware, but lags behind the other companies in terms of manufacturing and research. They are the number-one manufacturer of skill-wires and wired reflexes.
- Wuxing - Wuxing's interests in the cybertechnology field only are noted by their corporate investments and their position in the Pacific Prosperity Group.
- Primary Source: Man and Machine
- The major players: pp 12-13
- Shadowrun, Third Edition