Surgically Implanted Headphones


When it comes to wearable devices, we want them to be a part of us and help us in our daily routines. You have a Smartwatch, cell phone, and now Google Glass and other devices that seem to be making their way onto the floor. What will they come up with next that will make life a bit easier? Well, for those who have lost limbs due to certain circumstances we have the technology to help them with their lives with prosthetics. We also have seen many people do body modification in the way of tattoos, piercing, and stretching their ears and sharpening of teeth. So this you would think would be the norm. Well, we again want technology to be a part of us so why not have earphones that you never have to put on or take off. They are always with you, no worries of losing them and even buying new ones when they don’t seem to work like they used to.

Steve Haworth, a body modification artist, is no stranger to implanting magnets in the human body. So when Rich Lee approached him to do just that, he probably didn’t blink twice. But what Rich Lee wanted implanted into his ears weren’t mere magnets. Lee wanted to go all the way, and have the magnets actually surgically embedded in his own ears. Inspired by an Instructables tutorial on how to make invisible headphones using magnets and a coil necklace with an attached amplifier, the 34-year-old entrepreneur did just that. To control volume, he just moves the coil + amplifier closer to his ears.


So how does Lee plan to take advantage of his new subcutaneous system? In addition to listening to music, he has some creative ideas. “I can see myself using it with the GPS on my smartphone to navigate city streets on foot,” writes the St. George, Utah, resident, who also has a magnetic finger implant that allows him to feel electromagnetic fields. “I plan to hook it up to a directional mic of some sort (possibly disguised as a shirt button or something) so I can hear conversations across a room.”
While your everyday consumer might not be prepared for elective surgery just to have less visible headphones, Lee has plans for his new toy, ranging from the useful to the creepy.

But Lee has more practical ideas for his new stitched-in setup. He’s losing his sight in his right eye, and plans to hook his new system up to an ultrasonic rangefinder so he can hear hums when objects get closer or further away, thus (hopefully) making his hearing more bat-like. “Echolocation is something I want to start practicing with now because I might be legally blind soon,” he says. “The implant is going to allow for a lot of new senses.”

This is a great idea for those who are losing or have lost hearing or even eyesight. I know that I’m not ready to go this far as to surgically implant something in me, but we do that with steel rods to hold bones together, and other things that helps hold together a broken piece of our body. I again hope I won’t need something like this, but if I did I would appreciate those who tested it out and made sure it worked before I had to utilize it.

In the video below, he further discusses the implants.

By: Forrest L. Rawls


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