At one point of our lives, the concept of wearable technology was pretty much limited to Hollywood visualizing how they would be like in the future with films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Iron Man, Minority Report, TRON and many others. Today, when we’re finally on the brink of exploring the heights and depths of it, it seems like entered into an airy realm promising boundless possibilities. Although, it is highly unlikely that we’ll ever come across an Invisibility Cloak or Head-Up display, there’s a lot of buzz around the very idea of wearable technology and the limitless possibilities that lie ahead.
The Future Is Already Here
Wearable technology refers to devices and apparel in the form of glasses, headgear, belts, wrist wear, patches, exoskeletons, jewelry and is expanding into newer horizons such as implantables technology. From a $14 billion wearables market in 2014, it is expected to grow into an estimated $70 billion market by 2024.
…Implantables technology is one sector that has already attracted the interest of big names such as Google, Microsoft, Adidas, Nike, Philips, Reebok, and Samsung behind some promising new developments.
Here are top implantable technologies that will someday be a part of your life and body.
SMART MONITORING & HEALING CHIPS
At present, in order to monitor and treat diseases in real time, patients are utilizing cyber-implants that are directly connected to smartphone apps. For example, a bionic pancreas that is currently being tested at Boston University has tiny sensors on an implantable needle that directly communicates to a smartphone app to monitor blood-sugar levels for diabetics.
Researchers in London are developing capsule –sized circuits that can be swallowed to monitor fat levels in obese patients and create genetic material that will make them feel “full” during meal times. The technology is a promising alternative to current surgeries and other obtrusive technologies applied to treat obesity.
Similarly, a dozen other medicinal implants are in progress to deal with issues such as heart murmurs and anxiety.
Top Implantable Wearables
Researchers at the University of Illinois have created an implantable skin lattice of computer fibers more slender than a human hair that can screen your body’s internal workings from the surface.
Dangerous Things, a Seattle-based company has created an NFC chip, which can be embedded in a finger through a tattoo-like procedure, giving you a chance to unlock or enter codes by simply pointing the finger at things. Similarly, a Texas based research group has created micro-particles that can be infused under the skin, much like a tattoo and track body processes.
British researchers are developing cyber-pills with microprocessors that can communicate with doctors directly from inside your body. The pills can share information to further help the specialists know whether you are taking your medication properly and the considerable side-effects of it.
IMPLANTABLE BIRTH CONTROL
The Gates foundation is currently funding an MIT project to develop implantable female contraceptive that can be controlled by an external remote control. The wireless implant can dispense 30 micrograms of a contraceptive hormone from within a woman’s body for up to 16 years. In order to conceive, women can simply turn off the implant with a flick of a remote control and restart it as per their need. After a period of 16 years, it can be removed from the body. Currently, no hormonal birth control can last over five years.
The above mentioned technology can be used to ID every single human being on the face of the planet. We already have the US military running some serious programs to equip American soldiers with implanted RFID chips, so that it becomes easier and automatic to keep track of troops worldwide. Now or late, the expansion of this kind of technology is inevitable. It could be a positive change in the society – help us fight crime, human trafficking, secure elections, etc. While others, see it more of a passage to an Orwellian society, where the Big Brother knows and see it all, and controls everything. It could be a big step towards Singularity.