If I told you right now that the age of the cyborg was upon us, and that people everywhere were hacking their own bodies in an effort to extend their lifespan, you’d be impressed, right? You’d probably start picturing people implanting cure-developing devices under the skin, or eyeballs that can see through walls or read really small print. I mean, at least some kind of a thermonuclear weapon attached to the chest, right? Well, one man has indeed taken it upon himself to usher in an era of half-man/half-machines, but he decided to go for the oversized thermometer rather than anything truly awesome. Still, cyborgs.
No, this isn’t the plot of the next Terminator flick. American Tim Cannon, of the biohacker group Grindhouse Wetware, recently took a trip to Essen, Germany in order to get a box-encased computer chip, called the Circadia 1.0, implanted into his arm. As if the tattoo wasn’t already a pain to get, Cannon decides to get the skin around it stretched out beyond all imagination, so that he can get text messages whenever he might be getting the flu. That sounds ridiculous, and probably isn’t part of the chip’s current capabilities, but it’s an actual goal.
The chip is connected to a battery inside the case, so that it can be charged wirelessly, saving the need to keep an open sore on his body for an adapter to stick into. It will also connect wirelessly with any Android device, sending Cannon’s biometric data to whatever program reads the information. Candy Crush score sharing is probably just over the horizon.
He was forced to go out to Germany for the implant because no doctors could legally work on it here in the States. So Cannon reached out to the body-mod community, who pointed him toward Steve Haworth, who doesn’t mind giving people mini-surgeries without anesthetic, because that’s just the kind of nice guy he is. I’m assuming he also has some form of bio-tech that gives him strength through the pain and suffering of others.
Check out the video interview below, which Cannon gave to the tech site Motherboard. I can’t be the only person who thinks Cannon looks like he decided to do this after having an epic conversation about it with a fireworks specialist at last year’s Burning Man.
All in all, it reminds me of the greaser style of folding a pack of cigarettes into the sleeve of a white T-shirt, only shoved underneath the skin. It’s not as damaging as smoking, surely, but I’m not sure that the “benefits” of having one will reach a wide audience. Even so, they plan on releasing an open-source version of the Circadia next year for sale. If only I could remember where I sewed my wallet…