I lost my mother, Susan (Young) Kropa to early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2011. My mom was a painter, illustrator, author and elementary school art teacher for over 25 years. When she first developed Alzheimer's disease around age 60 the progression was slow and gradual. In the late spring of 2011, her symptoms grew worse rapidly and it soon became apparent she would need around the clock professional care. These photographs are from what turned out to be the last time I saw her.

Video 1 indicates that the procedure to get an RFID implanted into a dog or cat is painless... like getting an immunization  injection.

Video 2 demonstrates that getting an implant removed from a human body is not without some effort.

In this paper co-authored with MG Michael we note:

Recently, decade-old experimental studies on microchip implants in rats have come to light tying the device to tumors [29]. The American Veterinary Medical Association [3] was so concerned that they released the following statement: 
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is very concerned about recent reports and studies that have linked microchip identification implants, commonly used in dogs and cats, to cancer in dogs and laboratory animals. . . . In addition, removal of the chip is a more invasive procedure and not without potential complications. It’s clear that there is a need for more scientific research into this technology. [bold eds.] 
We see here evidence pointing to the notion of “no return” – an admittance that removal of the chip is not easy, and not without complications. The Norplant System was a levonorgestrel contraceptive insert that over 1 million women in the United States, and over 3.6 million women worldwide had been implanted with through 1996 [2]. The implants were inserted just under the skin of the upper arm in a surgical procedure under local anesthesia and could be removed in a similar fashion. As of 1997, there were 2700 Norplant suits pending in the state and federal courts across the United States alone. Most of the claims had to do with
“pain or damage associated with insertion or removal of the implants . . . [p]laintiffs have contended that they were not adequately warned, however, concerning the degree or severity of these events” [2].
Thus, concerns for the potential for widespread health implications caused by humancentric implants have also been around for some time. In 2003, Covacio provided evidence why implants may impact humans adversely, categorizing these into thermal (i.e., whole/partial rise in body heating), stimulation (i.e., excitation of nerves and muscles), and other effects most of which are currently unknown." 

 

"...A lot of parents worry when their kids first start taking the school bus by themselves. What if they’re snatched from the bus stop? What if they get off at the wrong stop? What if the bus is hijacked? Well, while the Kidtrack system can’t keep any of those things from happening, it can at least keep track of which children are on which buses, and where.

Kidtrack was developed through a collaboration between Fujitsu Frontech North America, and IT/logistics company T&W Operations."

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"...EPFL scientists have developed a tiny, portable personal blood testing laboratory: a minuscule device implanted just under the skin provides an immediate analysis of substances in the body, and a radio module transmits the results to a doctor over the cellular phone network."

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What to think of the enhancement of man? Researching the fading boundaries between humans and technology With our technological skills we are busy improving man. Brain implants, prosthetics, gene-technology, designing the human seems within reach. At the University of Twente, philosophers study the fading boundaries between humans and technology, and the best way to deal with this. Produced by Fast Facts and fiveminutes.tv With the support of The Young Academy and Peter-Paul Verbeek Thanks to all members of The Young Academy, KNAW, Iris Koopmans, Marja van der Putten, Hugo van Bergen Made by Marieke Aafjes 2010 In cooperation with Camera & editing: fiveminutes.tv Music: Daan van West Graphic design: SproetS

Images: GizMag

Dr. McCoy’s tricoder isn't looking too futuristic these days. Not only are real life versions of the Star Trek device under development, but some new medical devices are making it look a bit old fashioned. Take, for example, the ViSi Mobile vital signs monitor built by Sotera Wireless of San Diego, California. This wearable sensor pack uses Wi-Fi technology and is claimed to allow doctors using a tablet or smartphone to remotely monitor patient vital signs with the accuracy of an intensive care unit.

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Image:  Reuters

Image: Reuters

A paralyzed woman has been able to feed herself chocolate and move everyday items using a robotic arm directly controlled by thought, showing a level of agility and control approaching that of a human limb.
Jan Scheuermann, 53, from Pittsburgh, was diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder 13 years ago and is paralyzed from the neck down.

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http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/beijing/groups/hci/

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/beijing/groups/hci/

The world we live in has become suffused with computer technologies. They have created change and continue to create change. It is not only on our desktops and in our hands that this is manifest; it is in virtually all aspects of our lives, in our communities, and in the wider society of which we are a part.

[ HCI 2020 produced many ideas, both thrilling and troubling.  This report is not a conventional publication of an academic conference but seeks to convey the passion of those ideas, for the general reader and the HCI practitioner. For the general reader, this is important because knowledge of what the future might be may empower, while ignorance harm. For the HCI practitioner, its purpose is to map out the terrain and suggest new approaches while keeping an eye on the main prize: the embodiment of human values at the heart of computing. 

This two-day forum brought together academics from the fields of computing, design, management science, sociology and psychology to debate, contribute to, and help formulate the agenda for Human-Computer Interaction in the next decade and beyond. Participants also came from the commercial world, including representatives from software companies, hardware manufacturers, and content providers.]

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image : http://www.embedded-vision.com/
image : http://www.embedded-vision.com/

"...DARPA links human brainwaves, improved sensors, cognitive algorithms to improve target detection ."

[ For warfighters operating in the field, the ability to detect threats from standoff distances can be life-saving. When advanced radar and drone coverage is not available, warfighters typically rely on their own vision to scan their surroundings. Scanning over a wide area, though, is challenging because of the amount of territory that must be reviewed, the limited field of view of the human eye, and the effects of fatigue. Current technologies like binoculars, cameras, and portable radars can help to improve visibility and increase the threat detection rate. Unfortunately, current miss rates of 47 percent or greater using these technologies leave warfighters unprepared and vulnerable. ]

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Further reading here