Biohacker gets computer chip implant, transmits body stats to smartphone

The Right Click

While the rest of us are marveling at how smartphones are evolving, or dreaming of the day we’ll have Minority Report-style screens at our fingertips, another community is thinking of the future in an entirely different ways, looking for ways we can hack our bodies and change the way we use them with evolving technology.

Tim Cannon, a biohacker in Essen, Germany, has implanted a Circadia 1.0 computer chip into his arm, one of very few people to have such a procedure done. In an interview with Vice’s Motherboard blog, Cannon shows off the cellphone-sized implant in his left forearm and explains how it was implanted under his skin by a body modification professional.

Watch Cannon’s interview with Motherboard to learn more about the device (note: some strong language used):

Because the device isn’t approved by medical authorities, Cannon had to turn to the body mod community for expertise in safely implanting the device. Steve Haworth, who Motherboard describes as one of the pioneers of body modification, was the one to perform the delicate procedure at an undisclosed location. The surgery to implant Circadia 1.0 was performed without anesthesia.

This first version of Circadia 1.0 is relatively simple in its functionality: it records Cannon’s body temperature and transfers it via Bluetooth to Cannon’s Android phone. It also has three LED lights in the device, which light up the tattoo on Cannon’s arm and work as a status indicator.

The Circadia system and the device were developed by Cannon and a team of like-minded individuals at Grindhouse Wetware.

“We have been working on the Circadia Chip for 18 months, needing only a fraction of the costs that big companies would use for this,” Cannon told Motherboard. “The same will go for our next projects and an artificial heart is a goal for us in the next decade.”

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In the meantime, the first production run of Circadia child is expected in the next few months. It will likely cost interested parties about $500, but as it won’t be approved as a medical device, anyone looking to get this embedded will have to pay for a body modification specialist to implant it. Haworth says he would charge someone about $200 for the procedure.

Cannon posted his first demo of the device on YouTube here, and an update here if you’d like to learn more about his journey.

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