This article about Magnetic Finger Implants got me thinking a couple of weeks ago. Modern technology allows us to not only modify our environment, but to now modify our bodies to interact with it in new, unexpected ways.

Courtesy of Niki aplusbi via Flickr

On the surface it seems like a silly thing to do, and then when I examined it closer, it still seemed like a silly thing to do… This is a new option being offered by body modification artists. They open up a finger and then insert a bio-coated magnet into the side of one of your fingertips. The bio-coating prevents the magnet from interacting with other things in your body (I’m guessing infection).

I could not figure out for the life of me why someone would want to do this, but the article explains it: …”it would be easy to feel large electric fields… You’d be able to feel the live wires versus the dead wires… and detect large electric motors when they start up and shut down…” Oh and you could pick up little metal things like paper clips and nails… Yet according to the article, the magnetic field isn’t strong enough to wipe out your hard drive data or the magnetic strip out on your credit cards.

Biohackers are now experimenting with using magnetic finger implants. Can you see a time when others might do the same? What if this becomes a trend as popular as getting your ears double-pierced or a tattoo? Some biohackers are tinkering with the magnets to allow them to detect infrared radiation and to be able to sense distances. What other uses might they find?

Exercising the Muse

  • What if biohackers insist on implanting powerful magnets, even electromagnets in under the skin? What might be some of the uses of this? Electronic warfare? Attracting metallic objects to you from across the room?What if someone invents similar implants that allow you to detect certain types of plastic, toxic chemicals, or other substance?
  • What if you are able to control the polarity of the magnetic implants to attract or repel certain objects?
  • What if this becomes a trend as popular as getting your ears double-pierced or a tattoo? What are the dangers of this (besides entering an MRI machine)?
  • How might the widespread use of magnetic implants impact society? What would be done to counteract this?
  • One commenter suggested a magnetic implant as a nasal septum piercing might allow you to “smell” magnetic objects and fields. How might implants such as these transform our senses and how we use them?
  • Write a story featuring a biohacker who creates or sells and installs these implants. Why does she do it? Who are her customers?
  • What happens as body modifications become more extreme, separated from the medical realm and its extensive oversight, to elements typically seen as more fringe such as body modification artists?



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