Rich Lee has freed himself from the frustrations of misplacing or having to untangle his headphones ever again. How? He’s what’s known as a grinder: someone who experiments with surgical implants or body-enhancements, and he’s come up with a doozie. Implanted in his tragus — the stiff protrusion just in front of your ear canal — is a small magnet that works like an earbud built into his head.
To keep the implant almost completely imperceptible, audio signals are transmitted via a coil Lee wears around his neck — based on this Instructable — that creates a magnetic field causing the implant to vibrate and produce sound. Audio quality is certainly nowhere near close to what you’d get from headphones or an actual pair of earbuds, but Lee’s approach has a lot of distinct advantages.
In addition to listening to music whenever and wherever he wants, Lee also has plans to hook the wireless system up to various sensors like ultrasonic rangefinders, thermometers, and even geiger counters, giving him the ability to hear distances like a bat, or sense how hot something is without touching it.
The implanted magnet even seems like the perfect tool for Cyrano de Bergerac types who need a little coaching when wooing someone. Or gamblers needing a little extra info from incognito scouts surrounding a poker table. Whether that makes this human hacking experience worth it, well, that’s up to you. [H+ Magazine via Boing Boing]