The Latest Trend Among Biohackers Is Implanting LED Lights Beneath Your Skin

The Latest Trend Among Biohackers Is Implanting LED Lights Beneath Your Skin

Inspired by bioluminescent organisms, the DIY biohackers at Grindhouse Wetware have unveiled their latest creation -- a magnetically activated, LED-equipped silicone implant.

As Motherboard reports, the Pittsburgh-based biohacking collective performed three implantations in conjunction with a simultaneous operation in Dusseldorf last Saturday. The new light-up device, dubbed the Northstar V1, is about the size of a large coin, making it considerably smaller than an earlier version, the Circadia 1.0 computer chip. The procedure to implant the device required only 15 minutes (gory pictures here), and was performed under strict conditions.

The Latest Trend Among Biohackers Is Implanting LED Lights Beneath Your Skin

Once implanted and activated, the Northstar device can backlight existing tattoos or mimic bioluminescence. When a magnet is placed on the device, its five LED lights start to blink. After ten seconds, it goes back into sleep mode. The Grindhouse guys think it will light up about 10,000 times before the batteries die out and can no longer be recharged. Once this happens the device will have to be surgically removed. (Photo credit: Grindhouse Wetware/Ryan O'Shea)

When Motherboard's Anna Neifer asked why his team developed the device, Grindhouse Wetware cofounder Tim Cannon said: "You know, people from the biohacking community wanted it. They contacted us because they wanted to light up their tattoos. That's how we generate our implants, we let the community inspire us."

The Latest Trend Among Biohackers Is Implanting LED Lights Beneath Your Skin

(Credit: Grindhouse Wetware/Ryan O'Shea)

The group plans on making the device available next year. Ideally, Grindhouse would like to sell as many as 100 Northstar V1 devices through tattoo studios worldwide.

Looking to the future, Grindhouse has big plans. A future version of the chip could, in addition to its cosmetic functionality, deliver important biometric information to an external device like a phone. Another neat feature will be the ability of the chip to register a person's hand movements, and wirelessly relay those signals to receiving device. It would serve as a customisable hands-free controller. You'll never have to say, "Hey Siri" again.

Top image by Grindhouse Wetware/Ryan O'Shea

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    They could just put a Qi receiver inside to charge it

      Sure.. what could possibly go wrong.

      Problem being is that your skin is between the charger and receiver. Will get uncomfortably hot.

        That's not how that technology works - it's not a heat sandwich

    Just why??? And I'm sure it wouldn't feel good if someone slammed his hand where the implant is because if I saw that, that's the first thing I'd want to do.

    I find this device very odd in shape and size, and functionality, the PCB could have been done with a hybrid flex pcb to make it so you dont just have a 20c piece crammed on the back of your hand, the main micro could have been a smaller format, and they could have used a super capacitor for less run time, but indefinate usability, ...

    the identification functionality would just come from a bog standard NFC interface, you can pretty much buy them as stickers now, so easy to add to the existing device just by sticking it on before sealing,

    The sensing muscle groups though, that has much more room for development, the ligaments just under that spot move with all 4 fingers, and there are unique movements with each segment of your finger, including side to side, so they should be able to accuratly measure all segments in all 4 fingers with the suitable sensors,

    TLDR: Dont like this version, but room to grow,

    I would be sold if they had usb version, im always loosing my damn usb stick, never again will I loose it as its now in my thumb

    It looks horrible. I get people want to put lights under their skin but that thing is freaking huge! I think the reason for the size is the sealed plastic case though, it's probably the only way to put something like that into your body without getting poisoned by it.

    Funny thing is, we are already bioluminescent, we just can't see the light we emit (IR and a low level deep green). Humans are funny..

      You're right! I'll get to working on something that I can surgically implant in my eyeballs to see our natural bioluminescence. Will only be about the size of a 5 cent coin.

    You're getting your buzz terms mixed up. These people are body modifiers, not biohackers. Biohackers use supplementation and scientific theory to improve their physical and psychological state. Body modifiers just put as much weird crap in and on their body as they can, for no real reason other than aesthetics.

    lol, looking at these fools reminds of of that old adage, Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
    So primitive. anyone can do this but no one is lame enough.
    just cut an incision and shove a device in...good to go!

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