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News Link • Techno Gadgets

When Gadgets Get under Your Skin

• http://www.technologyreview.com, David Zax

New Scientist’s Jim Giles calls attention to this freaky fact: that in the future--the rather near future--our interfaces with our gadgets may be our own bodies. “Left your phone at home again?” he writes. “A solution is at hand: make sure it is with you at all times by having it implanted in your arm.” That's certainly a way of having a solution at hand, so to speak.

This is pretty much no longer the realm of science fiction, according to researchers at the Canadian software company Autodesk. The team embedded, somewhat grimly, a button, LED, and touch sensor in a cadaver’s arm. Each element worked just fine when under the skin--Bluetooth connection and wireless charging even worked through the skin.

MIT’s Sherry Turkle weighed in on this, noting that “in general, the trend has been that people are more and more willing to incorporate bits of the machine world into themselves.” After all, to a certain extent, cyborgs are already among us--think of your uncle’s pacemaker. But there’s obviously a difference between elective, versus life-saving, implantation of technology. Where, if anywhere, do we draw the line?

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