Having a second pair of hands would be handy, if somewhat disturbing. So why go overboard with additional limbs when you might be able to get by with an extra digit? Designer Dani Clode’s “Third Thumb” prosthetic could be exactly what you need, if you want to say, play your guitar in new and exciting ways or, uh, increase your popularity with the opposite sex.
According to Clode, the Third Thumb was inspired by a number of more common accessories, from watches to fitness trackers, as well as body modification, particularly tattoos and the way they act as a form of self-expression:
The value of the Third Thumb is to create a catalyst for society to consider human extension, framed in an approachable, accessible design. It is a tool, an experience, and a form of self-expression. When we start to extend our abilities, and when we reframe prosthetics as extensions, then we start to shift the focus from ‘fixing’ disability, to extending ability.
As to how it works, there isn’t a plug you snap into your motor cortex. Instead, it relies on Bluetooth and shoe-mounted pressure sensors, so the thumb can be controlled via your toes. The gadget itself was constructed using a combination of 3D printing, along with teflon tubing and Ninjaflex filaments.
Like any artificial limb, it’d take some getting used to and wiggling one’s toes can be surprisingly tiring. But I’m sure plenty would jump at the chance to become an 11-fingered Hendrix.