Human after all?
Human enhancement has featured heavily in dystopian novels and films over the years. Think of Cyborgs – they’ve fascinated fringe groups for decades. And thanks to developments in technology, these types of body hacks are becoming a reality.
If you move in the right circles you’ll probably see someone with horns or lights under their skin walking around Camden or at an industrial metal night, and not even double take. But is the next step to push your body beyond its ‘natural’ limits?
At the borderline of technology and biology, ‘bodyhackers’ are defying nature by redesigning their own bodies. Last month, the annual bodyhacking convention, #Bdyhax Con, was held in Texas, bringing together specialists and enthusiasts from around the world.
It’s estimated that around 10,000 people already have microchips under their skin. It’s more than you’d think. Enthusiasts argue that it’s the same as getting a piercing or tattoo, but there seems to be more to ‘DIY biology’.
Researchers are predicting that placing microchips under the skin could replace keys and wallets in the future. Being able to interact with your phone or unlock doors with your finger does sound like it’d be pretty useful?
This definitely isn’t a new trend, though. In the late 90s UK scientist Kevin Warwick carried out Project Cyborg (aka Captain Cyborg) to test the limits of the human body. He had a silicon chip installed into his arm and could operate doors, lights, heaters and computers in the research building. Pretty cool.
The current range of implants include magnets installed into fingertips, radio frequency identification chips (RFiD) for hands, and LED lights that shine under the skin. But in the future chips could hold vital credentials about an individual, and researchers say that they will expand the possibilities of human interaction with technology.
In the meantime, we’ll stick to debit cards.