The assimilation of the human race has begun! A Star Trek nightmare is coming true, as biohackers recruit piercing artists to build human-based Borg.
Similar to the Borg’s obsession with perfecting biological life through machinery, biohackers are driven to make human life easier with technological implants. The first trials have already begun, as some biohackers have implanted lights and entire circuit boards under their skin. In the most recent step towards our own Borg race, a Nebraskan has implanted an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification Device) under his skin with the help of a local piercer.
Inspired by the biohacking community, Johnathan Carlson, a first-year student in computer and electrical engineering at the Univeristy of Nebraska-Lincoln, moseyed over to Onyx Piercing to have an owner Matt Bavougian set the chip in his hand between his left forefinger and thumb. Matt told The Daily Nebraskan that while such requests are still uncommon, at least in the Lincoln area, he has received them before; however, most of them “aren’t serious.”
It would seem that piercing and tattoo parlors aren’t serious about installing implants either: Johnathan said that he approached 15 shops before Matt agreed. “It’s kind of like doing an earlobe,” he said. “The chip is classified as a piercing in the state of Nebraska, but it varies from state to state.”
As for the tech itself, the RFID implant sounds most similar to a pet’s microchip. It’s small, about the size of a grain of rice, and can be installed with a needle. This chip holds about 1kB of information, or about 150 characters; yes, that’s enough for a tweet, but Johnathan plans to make them into a secure password that could be used to open everything from his laptop to the front door of his future home. Since he studies and regularly works with electrical hardware, Johnthan says it will be easy to set up the scanners necessary to realize this biohacking dream.
His next idea is to implant an NFC (near-field communication) chip, which can hold more information like contact details. Another biohacking enthusiast has already taken it a step further with the installation of an entire circuit board in his arm, controlled by an app that reads it and projects medical information stored on it. If you’re feeling inspired by this “next level body augmentation”, check out Dangerous Things, the purveyor that supplied Johnathan.
Images via Sol Vazquez Cantero, andreynikolaev /Shutterstock