08 Mar'18

Bio-hacking and human augmentation – a niche market, but still a market


The BBC reported on a body hacker event that took place art a ‘trendy east London bar’. A group of body hackers presented ‘their reasons for human augmentation’. According to the reporter Jane Wakefield, the audience were mostly under-35s, who had a lot of piercing and tattoos.


Lepht Anonym, a bio hacker who has nine implants, believes that human augmentation will benefit humankind. Anonym also admits that she does this for her own curiosity. However, Anonym does admit that it is a painful progress: ‘The magnets in my fingers really, really hurt. They hurt so much that your vision goes white for a bit.’


For more information about Anonym’s body hacking, here is her blog.


The BBC state that it is estimated that ‘more than 10 000 people around the world have chip implants in their bodies’. Some of the implants include: magnets in their fingertips, radio frequency identification chips and LED lights beneath their skin.


The Verge published a first-hand report of body hacking. Adi Robertson described that he ‘wasn’t disappointed’ when he first experienced having a magnet in his finge. Robertson added ‘the magnet tugged and tickled when it got close to hard drives and speakers’ and he could ‘attract screws and other small metal objects’.


Robertson was aware that the performance of the magnet would decline over time as it weakens; he now only feels an occasional twinge from the magnet.


To find out more about the future of human augmentation, Robertson spoke to Amal Graafstra (Founder of Dangerous Things, manufacturer of chips and magnets). Graafstra was ‘pessimistic about the future of biohacking’.


Robertson concluded that ‘next decade’s most exciting enhancement will probably be wearable ones’. Last month, we published a feature about smart glasses, which could be considered a type of wearable enhancement that Robertson references.


There are more controversial projects, such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink, which aims to ‘connect humans and computers.’  In an article by The Guardian, this venture is described as ‘implanting tiny electrodes into the brain for direct computing capabilities’. Musk is quoted stating ‘a merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence would be necessary to ensure we stay economically valuable’.


Locutus of Borg had the following statement ‘Resistence is Futile’.