Gizmodo recently released an article which mentioned how an engineer named Jim Mielke introduced a digital interface technology which can be implanted in your body with the outward appearance of a body tatoo. Mielke showcased this wireless digital interface (aka… basically a phone) that has the potential to be powered by your blood after being connected to vein and artery which converts it to glucose then oxygen and then to electricity. The article emphasized how this was simply a “concept” and was not being mass marketed outside of the Greener Gadgets Design Competition. However, the idea fascinates me in thinking about what this could mean to people who used it.
Benefits & Creepiness
The benefits of this technology are obvious- you would not longer have to carry around your iphone, but instead they could just put the technology inside of you. We can assume that there were be no more need of using so much energy for charging a cell phone or even looking for a lost phone. Also for those people that need to buy the next version of the technology coming out regardless of its costs..Line right up for the “digital tatoo.” However, the issues that make this product a bit difficult to mass market are abundantly obvious for many people. I think the word to describe how people would feel about this potential product is..well… CREEPY!
After reading through many comments following this article the concern over safety seemed to come up again and again. Even though people WANT the latest gadget, consumers NEED safety gaurantees for products that will be inside their bodies. There are those that argue that their are health benefits from this kind fo device since it would help monitor blood disorders in case their was a problem. However, people already freak out over radiation with cell phones that we currently use. What would happen if the cell phone technology was inside our bodies? I am not a doctor by any means…but I am hesitant to believe that the result would be better. What if the body rejected the device? What if there were future upgrades and we needed surgery every time we needed an update/change/ modification in the gadget? Scary thoughts..which need reassurance?
Also, invasion of privacy is an issue with this technology. I have read a lot about the potential for RFID chip technology in humans which has had similar complaints and arguments. Will this device have some form of GPS where others can follow us? Will the government get involved and use these for identification purposes. Will I ever have time alone without technology gadgets trying to get my attention. Crazy thoughts now – but technologies in the past have had crazier suspicions.
Althought some people already have tatoos, and some may argue that it would not be a huge step for those to implant something useful underneath them. I would argue that the majority of people would be skeptical of any technology that would permanently change the way their body looked. In a world consumed with how you look – this type of cyborg look just isn’t in fashion
Obviously, this is just a technology that is at it’s “concept” phase of development and has not proceeded to mass market or mass produce however, I think the creepiness of products like these literally gets under our skin and wakes us up to the reality of the freedoms that we may not appreciate. Maybe losing a Iphone is a better alternative to having an implanted device in your arm. Maybe using energy to charge a cell phone is not such a bad thing in comparison to having your own blood keeping the gadget “alive.” The future will decide.