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implantedmagnets.jpg

So if you follow the twitter feeds of @hypatiadotca (Leigh Honeywell) and @3ricj (3ric Johanson) you’ll probably know that they’ve gone and had magnets implanted in their fingernails. Supposedly an explicatory blog post is forthcoming, but what do you think, readers? Controllers for some cool projected UI like the “Sixth Sense”? Simply as a tactile sensor for magnetic fields? Leave your ideas in comments.

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. stephen crosby says:

    ouch!

    1. Jason! says:

      Never fear, the appear to be simply glued on the surface of the fingernail (which means, of course, that they’re… well… not actually implants. More like magnetic jewelry). A little acetone and you’re MRI safe!

      1. hypatia.ca says:

        They are a bit more than glued on – we went to a nail salon and had UV gel nail enhancements (aka “fake nails”) done, which consist of a couple of layers of UV cure epoxy laid on top of the nail bed. Aidan, our accommodating technician, simply added the magnets in between two layers. The gel she used is not acetone-soluble, but the magnets can be removed with some quick nail-file action. I’ll blag more details shortly :)

        1. alex.s.myopenid.com says:

          At the rate mine grow, they’d fall out in two weeks..

  2. Carnes says:

    I remember reading something similar to this a while ago and dug up this article: http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mods/news/2006/06/71087

    I didn’t re-read the whole thing but i think that’s it. Very cool story. The guy can basically feel magnetic fields and live wires. How interesting that would be! To know if something is plugged in just by how it feels? But to jam something artificial into a nerve bundle is a bit much for me, atm.

  3. Math Campbell says:

    I’ve actually been in contact with one of the pioneers in this field, as I’d like to have it done. He very kindly sent me a few silicon-coated medical grade magnets for implantation (in case one doesn’t work, or I want a couple etc.)

    What interests me is less the magnetic buzzing (I’ve tried a superglued magnet for a day or two, it was funky, but meh), more the way the brain reacts to a new sense.
    After a couple of weeks, most recipients report a new “feeling” for electrical fields. Their brains begin to use the implant in ways they hadn’t thought of. A few report a sensitivity to which way north is! A few can “sense” radio fields as well as magnetic ones…
    They’re sitting in my drawer, because as in the US, body-modding isn’t a licensed procedure, so no anaesthetic, and I’m a total wuss, but one of these days I’ll pluck up the courage. I guess I could give this nail-embedding lark a go…

  4. nickythegreek says:

    I have a silicon dipped magnet implanted into my finger, you wouldn’t be able to actually implant one under the nail bed… or it could cause way more problems then needed.

    anywhere, here is a vid of me lifting some magnets with my implant.

    http://www.twitvid.com/256AB

  5. Chris W says:

    Sheer genius! I’m going right out and buying some uranium, cramming it under my fingernails, and getting a job with the IAEA!