As a woman with a tattoo and a facial piercing, you could say that I’m relatively open minded when it comes to self-expression. I also work in technology, so I’m fairly au-fait with the idea of wearable technology.
That said, having recently read about Seattle-based biohacking CEO Amal Graafstra implanting wireless chips under the skin of his hands, I’m not sure whether to be impressed or horrified…
Apparently, with the wave of a hand, the chips allow Graafstra to enter his house, log on to his computer and start his motorcycle. In addition, they also allow him to activate his ‘smart gun’ (apparently this makes owning a gun safer…though I’m sure there will be folks that will ardently disagree).
I can see that this is likely to be the way things are going to progress. I mean, we’ve had gesture control for years and our kids are growing up playing games that promote the concept that ‘you are the controller’.
We now use contactless payments for the majority of retail transactions and I doubt it is just me that is concerned about the day I lose my ‘digital wallet’ and end up stranded somewhere (not that I ever travel anywhere too remote, but I guarantee the day I lose my phone / money I will be somewhere in the wilderness…).
It appears then, in a similar way you can implant identification RFID chips into your doggy / moggy, for less than £200 you can now be the proud owner of your own access-control implant. Well, if you live in the US at least.
At the other end of the scale, a close friend of mine who has wanted cosmetic dental surgery for some time has had trouble finding a UK dentist to remove his teeth to replace them with implants. Apparently, UK policy is not to remove healthy teeth, despite what they look like. Meanwhile, in the US you can find a doctor that will implant a device into your body with seemingly little information of what the device is or what it contains. Just ask and it shall be done.
The possibilities of wearable technology and what might be embedded within the body is immense, but what worries me is who is going to regulate this stuff and, indeed, if it can be regulated at all?
Why do I get the feeling that having my daughter ask me whether she can have her nose pierced like Mummy as she turns 18 will be the least of my problems!