Augmented reality without glasses

Diagram of artificial lense

Artificial lens diagram via techcrunch.com

Six months ago, Omega Ophthalmics did a small trial of seven patients outside of the US. Their goal was to test for adverse effects of a surgery similar to lens replacements that often accompany cataract removals. The difference? Rather than replacing the cloudy lens with a normal artificial lens, surgeons instead implanted a lens that could be used for augmented reality, interactive sensors, or drug delivery.

Why it’s hot

Although widespread adoption of this technology is unlikely in the near future, scientists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists hope that there is a market for such implants in an aging population that wants to be independent for longer. Whether this small trial is successful may pave the way for larger trials to test additional possibilities and risk.

Learn more at TechCrunch.com

Voluntary employee microchipping (parties)

And X-Ray of an Epicenter employee’s microchip implants reveals its location between the index finger and the thumb. Image Source: Pinterest

Employees and renters at Epicenter, a Stockholm-based co-working space have been opting-in to microchip implants that allow them to open office doors, operate printers, or put a smoothie purchase on their company tab with a wave of their augmented hands.

The chips are injected between volunteers’ thumb and index fingers and use Near Field Communication (NFC), the same tech used for mobile payments such as Apple Pay (and yes, yours pets’ microchips).

150 of the company’s 2000 workers have received the implants, and they have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.

The technology isn’t new, but its implementation – within the human body, raises privacy concerns.

From the AP article:
“While biologically safe, the data generated by the chips can show how often an employee comes to work or what they buy. Unlike company swipe cards or smartphones, which can generate the same data, a person cannot easily separate themselves from the chip.”

With Elon Musk’s recent announcement of Neuralink, his latest enterprise focused on brain-computer interfaces, one starts to think:

  • When it comes to adoption of new tech, consumers continue to show a willingness to trade Privacy for Convenience.
  • Could these body-mod developments signal the first wave of consumer-level bionics, heralding a realization of the cyborg future envisioned and popularized by sci-fi writers of the 70s and 80s?