What medical uses could injectable electronics enable?
The medical uses are potentially huge. "The technology could be used to help recover tissues following a brain injury or help manage diabetes by providing an intelligent solution for controlling insulin levels," says Collette Johnson, Medical Business Development Manager at Plextek Consulting. "Injectable electronics could also provide similar applications in chemical regulation of the brain for people with imbalances, as well as for individuals with growth hormone-related diseases. They could also be used to help control prosthetics by reacting to muscle motion."
In June the Lieber Research Group at Harvard University unveiled an injectable mesh that was able to detect electrical signals within mice brains, which could help scientists unravel how the brain's cells communicate. The mesh was injected through a needle just 0.1mm in diameter.
Could injected electronics be the next wave of wearable tech?
"Yes, technology is fast advancing to a stage where this is possible," says Kamat. "These types of treatments could be made feasible by microelectronics, which can be injected or delivered at desired locations in the body via minimally invasive procedures." For anyone squeamish about having things physically inserted under the skin, Kamat points out that ID tags have been implanted in pets for tracking purposes for years.
"The products to be released include a wristband, key ring fob and a sticker."
"The most interesting, and one could argue the one with the biggest potential to change, is the sticker. The discrete sticker can be stuck to any item the customer choses. This allows for great amounts of versatility and could potentially be a trend-setting wearable. Instinctively one would consider the smartphone as the most obvious place, but as technology and trends evolve the smartphone could be replaced with any item that the customer ‘can’t leave the house without’.
The price point for the devices appears to be spot on. With the sticker retailing for AUD$30 and with the fob and wristband going for AUD$40 and AUD$50. With these amounts of innovation, it appear Barclays is really looking to disrupt the way their customers are making payments. One thing to note when looking at these innovations is that the big four banks in Australia are not adverse to product releases, so watch this space. "
The Apple Watch heralds a brave new world of digital living
“The Watch is here” touts Apple’s slogan for its wearable computer, implying that the one and only time-piece that really matters has arrived. So much for the Rolex Cosmograph and Seiko Astron when you can buy a stylish digital Apple Watch Sport, or even Apple Watch Edition crafted with 18-karat gold.
If we believe the hype, one in four Australians plan to buy a wearable device by the end of the year.
Of its many features and functions, the Apple Watch is a music player, fitness tracker, communications device, payment token and digital key. And it also tells the time. We were surprised that no one claimed that it will also help look after our kids. But not for long. There’s an app for that. So is there anything this device cannot do?
Who would have thought that the power of an internet-enabled laptop computer, mobile phone, iPod, fitness tracker, bank card and set of keys could be neatly packaged and strapped around your wrist?
And unlike other futuristic visions of hand-held communicators, the Apple Watch won’t leave you stranded in perilous situations because it’s dropped, stolen or falls out of range because it’s literally always connected to you.
This raises a key question: how will we change our behaviour based on the fact that we are walking around with a fully-fledged computer – one that sits in contact with our bodies and communicates wirelessly with machines around us without us being explicitly aware of it?
According to the marketing spiel, we’ll have a lot more convenience at our fingertips. But, in actuality, we may find ourselves reaching for the mute button, longing to be disconnected, and fed up with all the notifications interrupting us. That’s when the novelty effect wears off.
We have probably witnessed people who cannot resist the urge of pulling out their mobile phone to interact with it at the most inopportune times or who pass their idle time simply looking down at a screen.
Most do not realise they are even interacting with their personal computer devices for hours each day. The repetitive behaviour has almost become a type of tic disorder which is neurobehavioural.
We get a message, it makes us feel important. We reply and get a buzz the very next time it happens again. It’s kind of like digital ping pong. And the game can get tangible fast. The main reason this repetitive behaviour remains hidden is that the majority of smartphone users suffer from this, so it looks normal.
You can see people in public spaces immersed in virtual places. These Wi-Fi-enabled mobile contraptions can also trigger a host of internet-related addictions, whether used for gaming, answering mail, web surfing, online transactions, social media, we-chatting, or taking a tonne of photographs.
According to experts, internet addiction disorder (IAD) can ruin lives by causing neurological complications, psychological disturbances and social problems. This is not to mention the potential for accidents when people are not looking where they are going or not paying attention to what they should be doing. In short, our need to be always online and connected has become a kind of cybernarcotic drug.
Little device, big data
Very few of us are immune to this yearning for “feedback loops”, so telecommunications operators and service providers pounce on this response. Information is money. And while we are busy interacting with our device, the companies are busy pocketing big money using our big data.
We are fast becoming a piece of digital information ourselves, sold to the highest bidder. And while we are busy rating ourselves and one another, the technology companies are not only using our ratings to learn more about our preferences and sentiments, but rating us as humans. In sociological terms it’s called social sorting, and in policing terms it’s called proactive profiling.
In days gone by, mobile communications could tell data collectors about our identity, location, even our condition. This is not new. But the real-time access and precision of this level of granularity of data gathered is something we should be all aware of as potentially impinging on our fundamental human rights.
Because they interface directly with the human body, watches have the capacity to tell a third party much more about you than just where you’ve been and where you are likely to be going. They can:
Determine time, distance, speed and altitude information derived from onboard sensors
Identify which apps you are using and how and why you are using them, minute by minute
Oversee the kinds of questions you are asking via search engines and text-based messages you are sending via social media.
All in all, private corporations can glean what you are thinking, the problems you are facing, and they know your personal context. What is disturbing is that they can divulge some of your innermost personal thoughts, intentions and actions, and have evidence for the reasons we do things.
Many people immersed in the virtual world are too busy to be thinking about the very act of inputting information onto the internet. People value a life of convenience over privacy too much to be genuinely concerned what information is being logged by a company and shared with hundreds of other potential partners and affiliates.
And consumers are often oblivious to the fact that, even if they are doing nothing at all, the smart device they are carrying or wearing is creating a type of digital DNA about their uniqueness.
Today, we are asking to be monitored and are partying in the panopticon. We have fallen in love with the idea of being told about ourselves and don’t discern that we have become like prison inmates who are being tracked with electronic bracelets.
By the time we wake up to this technological trajectory, it may be all too late. Our health insurance provider might be Samsung, our telecoms provider may be Google, and our unique lifetime identifier could come from Apple. At present, these are the archetypal tech providers. But tomorrow, who knows?
And by that time, we will likely be heralding in the age of uberveillance where we posit that cellphones and wristwatches are not enough, that the human-computer interface should go deeper, penetrating the skin and into the body.
“You can’t live without it”, may soon no longer be just figurative, but a reality.
Katina Michael is Associate Professor, School of Information Systems and Technology at University of Wollongong.
MG Michael is Honorary Associate Professor, School of Information Systems and Technology at University of Wollongong.
"Peter just joined the growing network of biohackers that are curious to find out how we can combine technology with biology. What to do with NFC in your hand? That's like the same question you ask when you ask: 'What to do with a ac/dc-socket?' It depends which kind of device you plug in. Endless possibilities like storing Bitcoins in your body or opening an NFC-enabled door :)
This chip is developed by Amal Graafstra. The guy that helped Peter is Tom van Oudenaarde, a piercing artist who is experienced with implanting stuff under your skinn. Always aks this kind of experts to help and never try it yourself :)"
Thank you KMA and BW.
From this article here
"McCauley is a hacker at heart and has no qualms about experimenting on himself to prove a point. So, in the middle of his talk, he called piercing professional Tom van Oudenaarde onstage and announced he’d be implanting a chip in his hand.
Was he nervous? A little. But by all accounts the procedure was quick and relatively painless. In fact, so much so that Singularity University cofounder, Peter Diamandis, walked onstage an hour later and got chipped too.
The chip—a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag encased in a biocompatible glass cylinder the size of a grain of rice—was implanted in a three-minute procedure, start to finish, and left a small puncture wound and a bit of soreness.
To be clear, neither the technology nor the procedure is particularly novel. Vets have been implanting pets and livestock with RFID chips for a couple decades, and human RFID implants have been happening since at least the mid-2000s.
So, why get one? According to Diamandis, it was a spur-of-the-moment experiment to see how he’d feel having a piece of technology in his body. But he thinks that implantables, in general, could offer much more.
“In all honesty, I think biohacking, the cyborg human, is an eventuality that will materialize when the value proposition gets high enough,” Diamandis wrote in a recent blog post about his new implant.
RFID chips are passive bits of hardware powered and activated when near an RFID reader. Most people have experienced them at one time or another—cards granting access to an office or onto the subway or a bus.
Diamandis suggests near-term uses of RFID implants might be smooth interaction with the Internet of Things. We could use our hands to unlock doors, start the car, and pay for coffee. McCauley says we might keep contact information on our chip, swap said information by shaking hands—like an embedded business card.
Some of these applications are still in the future. The number of connected devices in our everyday lives are yet minimal enough that most of us wouldn’t get much use out of an embedded chip. And whether embedding it would be an improvement on keeping it somewhere outside our bodies, like on a card or in our phone, is an open question.
That said, the number of devices we might control with an implant is set to grow in the coming years. And the truly compelling “value proposition” may lie elsewhere—in health and medicine."
Stop the Cyborgs commented on this piece by Morrison as follows:
stopthecyborgsJun 7, 2013
"The issue is not "wearable tech", "implantable tech" or even full on artificial bodies. Prosthetics like prosthetic limbs, cochlear implants, pacemakers and enhancements like bottlenose which deliver extra senses are just an extension of human use of tools and medicine. It could be argued that humans have always been cyborgs in some sense.
Unfortunately the current trajectory of development is: Überveillance and locked down systems tied into corporate controlled servers in the cloud. This means that the coming flood of devices will not be enhancements which you control or even stand alone systems which you can trust to do their job (even though you don't know what code they contain) but rather systems which report data to insurers, health care providers, employers, security services and which can be remotely controlled. The issue is therefore to what degree are you allow systems which make up your body to be externally controlled and therefore the degree to which you are prepared to give up fundamental freedom and agency in exchange for performance or connectivity.
So here are some future possibilities:
(1) Your life logging memories stored in the cloud are turned over by the 3rd party host in response to a legal request.
(2) Your employer asks you to have an implant or use a wearable device. You feel that you will not be promoted and they may find a reason to sack you if you refuse. The implant monitors your movements away from work.
(3) Your implant monitors compliance with your medical regime. Because you did not obey the doctors instructions to the letter you are classified as 'bad' and denied future medication or insurance coverage.
(4) Your extra special bionic eyes are remotely disabled turning you blind because you were at an anti government demonstration.
(5) Your legs are remotely disabled crippling you because of a payment dispute with the vendor."
The Nymi is the first wearable authentication technology that allows you to take control of your identity through cardiac rhythm recognition. Authenticate once and remain authenticated until the wristband is removed. Move beyond passwords, pins and locks and interact with the technology that fills your daily life with proximity detection and task-based gesture control. The Nymi presents a new and exciting system that grants you access for being you!