When I was a kid, and no Playstations nor Tablets were around, reading cartoons was a nice way to spend the time and I remember the powerful muscles of Popeye, made even stronger by eating spinach. I am not sure if eating spinach helps at all but at least that seemed to be something to try out.
Nowadays we have drugs that can improve muscle strength, with some bad side effects that absolutely make them a no-no solution. Exercise is actually the only safe way, if done properly, to strengthen one’s muscle.
There are areas, like improving vision, where we do not have any problem in using some form of prosthetics, be it glasses or contact lenses, and on the horizon we can “see” smart contact lenses delivering augmented reality, and others increasing the sensitivity to our eyes beyond the normal spectrum, i.e. seeing in the infrared and ultraviolet. So far there has not been strong adverse reaction to these potential evolution, although once they will become reality and we will discover some of their implications (like getting a peek under the dresses you are wearing using infrared vision and image processing) some concerns is bound to rise.
Artificial hands, arms and legs are getting more and more sophisticated finding applications as prosthetics and in robotics. This latter is evolving rapidly, in both sensorial capacity and movement. I just saw an article on Nature Communications on the development of soft muscles that are 3 times as strong as natural muscle.
The result has been achieved by a team at Columbia University, Engineering Creative Machines lab, using a 3D printer to print the special substance forming the muscle. It is made by silicon rubber injected with micro ethanol bubbles that contracts and expand if voltage is applied. This soft muscle can lift 1,000 time its own weight (our muscle can lift 1/3 of that). The prototype is using wires to stimulate the muscle but researchers are planning to use some conductive material and get rid of the wires.
The first application is expected to be in robotics, providing effective means for contraction, lighter and more flexible than the motors currently used.
I won’t be surprised though if in the future these soft muscles can find application in our body, to restore functionality first and, who knows, to improve it.