The next big big interface getting an upgrade may be our bodies.
Body hackers, also known as grinders, are people who modify their body with technology.
These DIY cyborgs are pioneering new ways to enhance human capabilities through things like implantable microchips and magnets.
Here are four body hacks grinders are making popular.
Near field communication (NFC) microchips are one of the most common implants among body hackers and can be implanted in the hand to enable users to interact with the connected devices around them.
For example, the chips can be used to unlock smart locks and replace most RFID enabled keycards. Users simply tap the lock or keypad with their hand to gain access instead of using keys or cards.
These devices can also be synced with other NFC devices so that if you don’t have to enter your passwords to get access. For example, you can unlock your smartphone by simply holding it, instead of entering a passcode.
Biomagnets, which are basically just magnets that are safe to put inside your body, are another common implant among those looking to hack their body.
These devices are typically implanted in the fingertips or fingernails and give users a sixth sense of sorts, enabling them to sense invisible magnetic fields from other devices around them. The magnet can also be used to pick up other small metal objects.
Magnets as hidden earbuds
A less common use of implantable magnets is using them as implantable earbuds.
In 2013, grinder Rich Lee had sound transmitting magnets implanted in his ears. These magnets when paired with an amplifier and coil necklace enable Lee to play music without headphones that nobody else can hear.
Here’s how it works:
When the amplifier is plugged into the media player instead of sending the signals to the earbuds, it sends it to the coil worn around the neck. That creates a magnetic field that sends a signal to the magnets in the ears to create sound.
Another implantable device that will soon be available is a silicon implant that acts as a compass.
The device, called the NorthStar, lights up with five bright red LEDs when activated with a magnet. It also helps the user to sense where the magnetic north is near the back of their hand.
Members of the Grindhouse body hacking community are working on the device and have tentative plans for initial implants to begin as soon as September 2015.
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