Human Biohacking Augmentation Is Becoming More Popular And Yes That's A Little Freaky
Implanted ID devices certainly aren’t new; they have been used to help lost pets return home for many years now. These little chips are embedded under the skin of the dog or cat, and if picked up by animal control, the chip can be scanned, and the pets returned home. They are rather like tags that can’t be lost and both the injection and presence of the device under the skin goes unnoticed by most animals. These implanted chips are now going mainstream for people, according to a man called Patrick Kramer of Digiwell, who has implanted about 2,000 similar chips into humans but this is also just part of an overall trend in human augmentation.
These implants inside people aren’t for returning them home if lost, rather these implantable chips can be used for unlocking doors, storing digital business cards, and for storing medical data. The storage of medical data could be a big help for people who suffer from medical conditions that could leave them unable to communicate with first responders in an emergency, such as those with epilepsy. The first responders could simply scan the chip and access medical data that could mean the difference between life and death for the chip owner.
Kramer himself has three chips in his hands; one opens his office door, the other stores medical data, and the third stores contact information. Estimates are that there are about 100,000 people worldwide with similar implanted devices, and those folks are called cyborgs. Human augmentation with digital devices is expected to boom in the coming years; estimates expect the market to grow to $2.3 billion by 2025.
Implantable devices aren’t only used for ID, contact information and unlocking doors, however. A dancer from Spain called Moon Ribas has an implanted chip in her arm that is connected to seismic sensors triggered when there are tremors anywhere on the planet. Ribas uses the chip and its tremor detecting capability in a performance art piece called Waiting for Earthquakes.
Another person with an implant is Neil Harbisson; a colorblind artist from Northern Ireland that has an implant in his head that allows him to hear colors. Finally, a gentleman by the name of Rich Lee has the strangest of all the implantable devices he is developing, called the Lovetron 9000. It’s a vibrating device that would be implanted in the pelvis for use during sex, this device hasn’t been used or tested yet. Other body hacking projects have massive amounts of funding, such as a company called Neuralink Corp, a brain-computer interface startup that has raised over $27 million. From a cost standpoint, the basic sort of implants that Kramer sells, and implants at Digiwell, those cost between $40 and $250 with a $30 charge for installing them. Are you interested in becoming one with the Borg?