Implants Give Sixth Sense

By | June 9, 2006

I would circle my finger with a strong magnet and feel the one in my finger spin. In time, bits of my laptop became familiar as tingles and buzzes. Every so often I would pass near something and get an unexpected vibration. Live phone pairs on the sides of houses sometimes startled me. …remagnetized_t.gifPeople with magnetic implants can’t erase hard drives or credit cards. They don’t set off airport metal detectors or get stuck to refrigerators. The magnets are small, and once encased in skin, all they do is react next to nerves, conveying the presence of sufficiently strong electromagnetic fields. “The magnetic implant is not the most sophisticated or rich sensation, it was just the easiest to implement with our available technology,” says Huffman.

Implant work isn’t ready for prime time. While Huffman loves his implant, he discourages others from getting it. “Most people don’t understand the risks, and implant work isn’t appropriate for most people.” Those risks include infection and breach of the magnet’s silicone sheath. The procedure itself is painful, and the results vary from person to person for unknown and unstudied reasons. – wired

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