by: George Dvorsky

We've been modifying our appearance ever since we first figured out how to pierce skin with wood and bones. Today, our tendency to twist, morph, and expand upon our naturally given forms is very much alive and well, one that's been best expressed by the radical body modification community. And now, owing to the onset of new technologies, this subculture is ready to take body modification to further extremes.
To get a better sense of where body modification is headed, we spoke to Shannon Larratt, founder of the BME body modificationwebsite. Larratt is no stranger to cutting edge modifications; over the last twenty years he's had a wide set of piercings, scars, tattoos, implants, and surgical modifications. He's designed much of the jewelry and equipment involved, including the procedures themselves. Larratt is also the inventor of the very first ink-injection procedure for eyeball tattooing.

After speaking with Larratt, it became obvious that the future is very bright (and weird) for the body modders — one that aligns very closely to the techno-savvy biohacker and transhumanist communities.

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Replies to This Discussion

I don't know.  Two earrings in each ear is enough piercings for me.  OK I'm 46 y.o., slender, and want a belly ring, but other than that, I'm good.

The neodymium magnet fingertip implants are interesting.

For example, if you are feeling the electromagnetic bubble that comes off of a power transformer ... it feels like you're reaching out and touching an invisible bubble. That bubble has form (you can move your hand around to get an idea of the shape) and it has strength (the amount of power dictates how far the magnet is being moved inside your finger) and it even has "colour" (the frequency of the electromagnetic field alters how quickly the magnet vibrates).

Of course this would be a problem when you needed an MRI.
Would a fingertip magnet interfere with touch screen performance?

Yeah - I would think that would interfere. I suppose they would have to remove it.

I don't think so, at least not on flat-panel displays.  Touch screens these days depend on a surface layer which locates the contact point and is purely electrical in nature.  A magnet in proximity to the contact point would probably not have any appreciable effect.  On a CRT-based unit, the magnet might distort the picture in the immediate vicinity of the finger, depending on the strength of the magnet, but it would not have any impact on the touch layer itself.

I trust Loren - he is an engineer - thanks - learned something.


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