One in five persons in the world own smartphones. They help us stay connected
to the world and improve day to day living. This was taken to the next level in
2013,when artist Anthony Antonellis got a Radio frequency Identification (RFID)
chip implanted inside his arm. It could store and transfer art to his smartphone.
Researchers are also conducting experiments with sensors which are inserted
into human bones to turn them into living speakers.There is research going on in
the domain of eye implants to enable images to be captured with just a blink and
transmitted to some local storage device,like the embedded RFID chip. There
have also been attempts to use artificial skin as a display.
In the field of medical science,technology goes a long way to save lives of
people.Scientists at Boston University,USA are testing a bionic pancreas
which has a small sensor on a needle that can be implanted. This sensor
communicates directly to a smartphone app and efficiently monitors the blood-
sugar levels diabetic patients. In London, a capsule-sized swallowable circuit
is being developed. Its purpose is to monitor fat levels in obese people and
create genetic material that prevents them from consuming excess food. This
is a brilliant alternative to surgery or other invasive ways to get combat obesity.
Apart from this, medical conditions like heart murmurs and anxiety have also
unique implant solutions coming soon.
A research team from England has started Project Proteus,where they
are striving to develop “cyber-pills” with microprocessors which can relay
information to doctors via text messages. They can assist doctors by providing
beneficial information about the patient’s regularity in taking medicines and if the
desired effect is taking place.
4.Implantable birth control
Unlike Intra Uterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD), these tiny implantable
chips can produce contraceptive hormones from within a woman’s body trough
an external remote control. This project is an initiative of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is being supported by the Gates Foundation. Dr. Robert Farra of MIT says that ““The
ability to turn the device on and off provides a certain convenience factor for
those who are planning their family.”
Not sure if you really need that new tattoo? Here’s one more excuse you can
give!Researchers at the University of Illinois have devised an implantable
skin mesh made out of computer fibers (even thinner than a human hair!) that
can be injected just under the skin. It can monitor the body even without deep
implantation. Dangerous things, a US company, has sold over 500 smart tattoos
which can be used open or unlock homes,cars and computers.
6.Brain Computer interface
Controlling computers with your thoughts is no longer only in science fiction
movies! BrainGate, a team at Brown University is trying to accomplish just
this. As the BrainGate website says, “using a baby aspirin-sized array of
electrodes implanted into the brain, early research from the BrainGate team has
shown that the neural signals can be ‘decoded’ by a computer in real-time and
used to operate external devices.” The world’s most advanced chip maker Intel
has predicted that we will see practical computer brain interfaces by 2020.
7. Bio Batteries
Gadgets need a power source. This can turn out to be a problem for implantable
technology,especially when they have to be replaced. A research team at
Draper Technologies in Cambridge,Massachusetts, is testing Biodegradable
batteries.They generate power within the body,transfer it wirelessly to wherever
it is required, and magically dissolve without harming the body!
Computers,the size of sand grains,which are capable of organizing themselves
inside the body to perform complex tasks are also in the works. The possibilities
of this are unimaginable;including but not limited to- attacking early cancer
cells,bringing relief from pain due to internal wounds and storing vital personal
information. Smart dust can allow doctors,access to your body without surgery
and information can be stored inside you safe and sound through encryption.
This technology will allow every human being to be identified through a smart
tag. Crucial information can be stored inside the body and can be accessed by
required parties. A similar program has been considered by the US military to
equip all soldiers with implanted RFID chips, to keep track of the troops and
their activities,worldwide. The advantages of this would include enhanced crime
fighting,safe and fair elections, and locating missing persons.Critics,on the other
hand,think that this would lead to a serious lack of privacy.
10.Implantable smart organs
Tissue engineering works by adding cells to plastics. If you add the right kind of
cells to the right plastics along with right media to the mix,then you can create
skin,bone,and other tissues and organs.There has been significant progress in this
field, says Robert Langer, professor in bio-medical engineering at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.
Let’s hope that soon,all these innovations will truly make the world a better place!