No, the above image is not a still from the latest Saw movie. It’s a photo of biohacker Tim Cannon, the so-called “DIY Cyborg” who implanted a Circadia 1.0 computer chip the size of a smartphone under the skin of his forearm.
The the wirelessly charged sensor, developed over the course of 18 months by Cannon and his fellow hackers/artists at Grindhouse Wetware, monitors his vital signs, then transmits that real-time data via Bluetooth to his Android device.
Cannon told Vice’s Motherboard that Circadia 1.0 could “send me a text message if it thinks that I’m getting a fever.” The device could then help determine what factors are causing the fever. Future versions of the sensor are expected to monitor the pulse and — thank God — come in a smaller, less ghastly package.
As if the bulging device, bruised skin and crude stitches weren’t an obvious giveaway, the procedure was not medically approved, so Cannon recruited some body modification pioneers to perform the surgery. Not only that, he did it “raw dog,” without anesthesia.
“I think that our environment should listen more accurately und more intuitively to what’s happening in our body,” Cannon said. “So if, for example, I’ve had a stressful day, the Circadia will communicate that to my house and will prepare a nice relaxing atmosphere for when I get home: dim the lights, let in a hot bath.”
Cannon expects the first production series of the chip should be ready in a few months and will cost around $500. But since the implant procedure will certainly still be medically unapproved, interested hackers will have to seek out the body modification community to have it done. Steve Haworth, the body modification expert who conducted Cannon’s surgery, said he would charge around $200 for the procedure.
Check out Motherboard’s video here, along with this update. If you’re by chance having a meal or snack while watching these clips, I perhaps recommend that you finish what you’re eating before pushing play.