- Implantable smartphones
Sure, we’re virtual connected to our phones 24/7 now, but what if we were actually connected to our phones?
That’s already starting to happen.
Last year, for instance, artist Anthony Antonellis had an RFID chip embedded in his arm that could store and transfer art to his handheld smartphone…
- Healing chips
Right now, patients are using cyber-implants that tie directly to smartphone apps to monitor and treat diseases.
A new bionic pancreas being tested at America’s Boston University, for instance, has a tiny sensor on an implantable needle that talks directly to a smartphone app to monitor blood-sugar levels for diabetics…
- Cyber pills that talk to your doctor
Implantables won’t just communicate with your phone; they’ll chat up your doctor, too.
In a project named Proteus, after the eensy body-navigating vessel in the film Fantastic Voyage, a British research team is developing cyber-pills with microprocessors in them that can text doctors directly from inside your body…
- Bill Gates’ implantable birth control
The Gates Foundation is supporting an MIT project to create an implantable female compu-contraceptive controlled by an external remote control.
The tiny chip generates small amounts of contraceptive hormone from within the woman’s body for up to 16 years…
- Smart tattoos
Tattoos are hip and seemingly ubiquitous, so why not smart, digital tattoos that not only look cool, but can also perform useful tasks, like unlocking your car or entering mobile phone codes with a finger-point?
Researchers at the University of Illinois have crafted an implantable skin mesh of computer fibers thinner than a human hair that can monitor your body’s inner workings from the surface…
- Brain-computer interface
Having the human brain linked directly to computers is the dream (or nightmare) of sci-fi.
But now, a team at Brown University called BrainGate is at the forefront of the real-world movement to link human brains directly to computers for a host of uses…
- Meltable bio-batteries
One of the challenges for implantable tech has been how to get power to devices tethered inside or floating around in human bodies.
You can’t plug them in.
You can’t easily take them out to replace a battery.
A team at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is working on biodegradable batteries.
They generate power inside the body, transfer it wirelessly where needed, and then simply melt away.
Another project is looking at how to use the body’s own glucose to generate power for implantables…
- Smart dust
Perhaps the most startling of current implantable innovations is smart dust, arrays of full computers with antennas, each much smaller than a grain of sand, that can organize themselves inside the body into as-needed networks to power a whole range of complex internal processes.
Imagine swarms of these nano-devices, called motes, attacking early cancer or bringing pain relief to a wound or even storing critical personal information in a manner that is deeply encrypted and hard to hack…
- The verified self
Implantables hammer against social norms.
They raise privacy issues and even point to a larger potential dystopia.
This technology could be used to ID every single human being, for example.
Already, the US military has serious programs afoot to equip soldiers with implanted RFID chips, so keeping track of troops becomes automatic and worldwide…