Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The future of Body Modification

Traditionally, Body modifications involve making holes in certain body parts like ears, nose, cheeks, etc. Some African tribes use body modification to contour their bodies like elongated necks. Some use it to have a narrow hip. 
The future of Radical Body Modification is quite different and are interesting.
Take the example below: An embedded digital watch in your hand.
Another example: Magnetic implants at fingertips
The sixth sense of the magnetic implants can be understood from the relevant text here: http://io9.com/5944883/what-does-the-future-have-in-store-for-radical-body-modification
"They work by creating a haptic interface. The magnet moves or vibrates when it is exposed to magnetic or electromagnetic fields. This can be felt by the same nerves that are used for touch, nerves that are extremely dense and sensitive in the fingertips. They are generally placed slightly to the side of the fingertip rather than centrally in the finger pad so that they don't affect function, and they're quite tiny, having a volume comparable to a grain of uncooked rice.
When the magnets move, you are aware of it, and it doesn't take long before this becomes a distinct sensation from touch. It doesn't just feel like having a tiny vibrator inside your finger, even though that's exactly what it is. It's more natural than that. For example, if you are feeling the electromagnetic bubble that comes off of a power transformer, like what your laptop might use, it feels like you're reaching out and touching an invisible bubble. That bubble has form (you can move your hand around to get an idea of the shape) and it has strength (the amount of power dictates how far the magnet is being moved inside your finger) and it even has "colour" (the frequency of the electromagnetic field alters how quickly the magnet vibrates).
All of this is processed on a subconscious level, and it really is like having a sixth sense. It's hard to describe just how wonderful this is — our world is so rich with electromagnetism. It's such an important part of the modern world, yet most people are blind to it. Sure, you know intellectually that it's there, and you can even detect it with various tools, but it's not the same as actually sensing it. Nor are the tools as fast or convenient.
Because I can feel the power running through cables (at household voltages anyway), and transformers are easy to detect, there are many times where I've used it to quickly diagnose hardware issues without having to pull out a multimeter. The sensitivity is high enough to detect a spinning hard drive engine through the keyboard of a laptop, or to feel a distributor firing in a car being repaired.
Of all the body modifications I've had, my magnets may be at the top of my favorites list. They're certainly the most profound in terms of expanding my world. I've had them for a bit over seven years, and I feel like if I were to lose them I would feel blind."

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