Here’s one for all you conspiracy theorists out there!
Firms are experimenting with the concept of smart technology under the skin, which will mean we never have to forget the mobile phone again!
I love it when scripture comes up with ideas so long before they arrive that you have to think there’s something prophetic about it, whether you grasp the interpretation or not.
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev 13:16-17
There has been much speculation about the mark, or insertion, taken in the forehead or hand, but it is only in recent years that we can say with any certainty that there can be a connection between commercial control and an insertion.
From the London Metro Newspaper:
Here’s a real close call: Implanting your mobile phone under your skin
While it may sound like something out of Iron Man, implanting your smartphone under your skin may become as common as having laser eye surgery in the future, according to a leading scientist.
Moving on from the likes of pacemakers and stent implants, research by Autodesk, a California-based software company, has turned its attention to how traditional user interfaces could also work in the human body.
Giving hope to the idea of an unforgettable mobile phone, researchers embedded touch sensors, LEDs, speakers and vibration motors under the skin of a cadaver’s arm.
‘Our work explores the future possibilities of implanting interactive components underneath the skin, which would enable people to directly interact with their implants,’ said Christian Holz, who worked alongside Tovi Grossman and George Fitzmaurice at Autodesk.
‘We discovered that traditional interactive components can work through skin and the metrics collected from this study can inform the future design of interactive implants.’
In collaboration with Professor Anne Agur at the Department of Anatomy at the University of Toronto, the study used artificial skin to attach small implants to participants’ arms to see how they felt walking around with interactive devices. It also tested the effects of skin on traditional controls, such as buttons and microphones, the quality of light, sound and vibration, and communicated with and even charged devices through Bluetooth connections.
While implanting devices under the skin is certainly nothing new – more than three million people already have pacemakers– this technology could see those who have medical implants interact with them directly, eliminating the need for regular check-ups and even surgery.
‘It would be impossible to predict what the future holds, but one immediate application could be to allow them to directly interact with and monitor their devices,’ said Mr Holz. ‘For example, notify the user of a low battery bya slight tingling underneath the skin or recharging the battery through skin, thereby avoiding the need for surgery.’
He added: ‘Implanted devices, along with the information they store, always travel with the user. There is no need for the user to manually attach them. The user can never forget or lose them either. This makes implanted devices available to them at all times.’
There are concerns, however, that the technology could be exploited, and that someone could hack into a person’s body.
In 2002, Kevin Warwick, professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading, was the first human to have the Utah Array/BrainGate implant inserted into his arm to link his nervous system to a computer.
He said: ‘Once you’ve got implants into the nervous system and the brain, then the big issue is that potentially someone is going to hack into your nervous system and send signals you don’t want.
‘Having said that, we’ve seen with the Parkinson’s stimulators only a very small percentage of people have side effects, even when it is changing how your brain functions. There are certainly no reports that I’m aware of of people hacking into other people’s brains even though there are thousands of people with such implants.’
Mr Holz said: ‘It would be important to carefully consider the privacy and ethical issues. In particular, data transmission protocols would require careful consideration to ensure security. Storage of any identity information would require legal and ethical debate. We hope our work can serve as a starting point for such discussions.’
For Prof Warwick, the benefits far outweigh the risks, with thought communication and networking some of the potential uses in the future.
‘I think it will enable a lot of people, particularly people who are classified as disabled because they are paralysed,’ he said.
‘This is often just a break in the nervous system, which could be enabled through technology like this.
‘I don’t see any problems with enhancing the human brain by extending your nervous system across a network, so your body doesn’t have to be where your brain is. It can be wherever the network takes you. We don’t need people travelling to distant planets – you could simply think and control something there.’
As for implanting phones and other devices more directly into the nervous system, he said: ‘I think it would open up much faster, much more efficient means of communication and there would be enormous commercial opportunities.
‘Within a decade you could find that it is something that you can have very easily, and ethically people wouldn’t worry about it because it would be something that everyone has to have – a bit like laser eye surgery. Fifteen years ago if someone wanted to blast lasers into your eyes you would have said they were crazy, but now you have to have it.
‘From a scientific point of view you never really know when this is going to happen. It is like a commercial tsunami – it just goes forward and completely changes the world.’
For more information, go to www.christianholz.net
HOW IT WORKS:
– User interfaces could be implanted under the skin of the forearm, allowing users to interact with small devices, such as mobile phones
– As in the case of Autodesk’s prototype devices – which were fitted to participants under a piece of artificial skin created from silicon – this would enable participants to receive output triggers through the skin, as well as respond to them
– Possible low level components that have already been tested and could be used for this include a vibration motor, which could alert the user to an incoming call, email or text message through vibration. For example, one short vibration could signal a call, while two short vibrations could signal an email or text message
– Alternatively, a blinking LED seen through the skin could indicate the presence of a message and a tactile button under the skin could be clicked to hear this or answer calls
– An implanted speaker and microphone could also be used for conversations or to read out emails or text messages to the user
Posted by Steve