DIY body-hackers can’t wait for future

When you meet a group of guys working in their basement to build a device they hope to implant in their bodies, it’s easy to dismiss them as eccentrics. But I found the members of Grindhouse Wetware to be thoughtful about our future interactions with machines. Unlike most of us, they’re not willing to wait for it. They’re doing it.

Tim Cannon (left) with Shawn Sarver in the basement workshop of Grindhouse Wetware. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

Tim Cannon (left) with Shawn Sarver in the basement workshop of Grindhouse Wetware. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

Tim Cannon says he would cut off his arm if he could replace it with a stronger, more adroit mechanical upgrade.

For now, he must be content with a homemade digital device implanted under his skin that records his body temperature, interacts by Bluetooth and has LED lights.

Some swelling is evident around the electronic device that Tim Cannon had implanted under a tattoo on his arm.  Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

The electronic device that Tim Cannon had implanted. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

About the size of a stack of business cards, it bulges from his left forearm, still tender and swollen with fluids his body secreted to expel the foreign object. A body-piercing specialist implanted the device beneath a tattoo of a mechanical gear holding a DNA double helix.

Called Circadia, it turned out cruder and larger than Cannon hoped, but the device represents to him a step toward humanity’s union with machines.

“We did exactly what we set out to do, which was to inspire — to say, ‘You can do this,’ ” said Cannon, 34, of North Fayette.

To read the rest of this story, click here. My entire Cyber Rattling series is here.

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