For those of us who aren’t sold on the notion of high-tech tattoos, there’s an alternative: jewelry. But like those tattoos, this jewelry is much more than ornamental—it can actually turn your veins in to a source of energy.
These days, we’re finding energy sources in all kinds of interesting places, including phone booths and park benches. But the main reason behind these innovations is the ever-increasing need for energy, both on a global and a personal level—after all, what would people do if they couldn’t quickly and easily charge their smartphones?
In fact, our smartphones have become such an extension of us that the idea of them running out of power is terrifying. When people leave their phones at home by accident they tend to feel naked, as though they’ve forgotten something as fundamental as clothing. But when the battery dies, that feeling can be even worse, especially if there’s no charger on hand. You’ve still got this device, this gateway to the rest of the world and all of the people in it, except it’s dead and useless. It’s worse to have a phone right there and not be able to use it than it is to accidentally leave a phone behind. And when a phone dies, the question isn’t about when someone will be able to go back home to retrieve it, it’s about how to find the nearest compatible energy source.
That idea prompted Naomi Kizhner, a graduate student in Israel, to develop a project called “Energy Addicts.” She wants to generate a discussion about the human body and its uses—specifically, whether we’re “willing to sacrifice our bodies in order to produce more energy.” To that end, she’s created some unique jewelry that wearers embed into their veins. When the user moves, the flow of blood turns a wheel inside the jewelry, which generates electricity.
The idea is pretty extreme, but given what people are willing to give up for their technology, it isn’t that far off. It reminds me of a trip to Las Vegas where I saw dozens of people sitting in front of slot machine and other games. They had their casino credit cards on lanyards around their necks, and then didn’t even take them off to insert the cards into the machine—they sat there, literally plugged in, as though the slots were feeding on their life force rather than their money. This is the same idea—in modern society, is it that surprising that people would give their own energy to their tech?
Kizhner invented three pieces of jewelry. The Blinker attaches to the bridge of the nose and the eyelids, the E-Pulse Conductor that fastens into veins on the underside of the wrist and arm, and the Blood Bridge, which connects to the back of the neck. She doesn’t honestly intend these to be practical sources of energy, but rather, a commentary “about how far will we go to in order to ‘feed’ our addiction in the world of declining resources,” and a poke in the direction of alternative energy sources.