As wearables become more and more common, everyone seems to be searching for the next innovative way to supplement our frail human bodies with some badass cyborg powers. With tech body modifications like North Sense, your repressed Robocop/Ironman/Darth Vader fantasies could become reality. Or totally freak you out.
The makers at Cyborg Nest have created the new product that quite literally becomes a part of you by hinging itself to your skin with barbell piercings.
According to the Cyborg Nest site, there are a lot of things that the product is NOT: a tool, a device, a gadget, a toy, or even a wearable. It is an artificial sixth sense, or "North Sense," that vibrates each time you are facing magnetic north. As someone with a terrible sense of direction, this might be appealing. Or you could also use a compass.
So, it's not exactly the casually wearable Darth Vader helmet we've been waiting for, but at least it could help you navigate. The possibility of developing a functional sixth sense isn't a far-fetched goal for two of Cyborg Nest's co-founders Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas, both of whom are cyborg activists and avant-garde performance artists.
Harbisson, who has a permanent, color-to-sound frequency sensing antenna attached to his head, identifies as a cyborg himself, and Ribas has a permanent seismic sensor implanted in her elbow that allows her to feel earthquakes all over the world.
North Sense is anchored to your body first by using surface-to-surface barbell piercings. Then the sensor itself, a 2.5cm, water resistant chip encased in body-compatible silicone, attaches directly to the piercings. Here's the catch: you can preorder the North Sense now for $350, but you'll have to find a professional surface-to-surface body piercer on your own, which probably means additional costs and factoring in healing time.
You can choose to place the sensor wherever you see fit, but Cyborg Nest suggests that the upper part of your chest, just below the collarbone, is a good place. The sensor detects when you are in a horizontal position and goes to sleep, but the site doesn't yet specify if the product will need to be charged, or for how long.
I know — we had a lot of questions too. What's most questionable is the fact that the Cyborg Nest site doesn't clarify exactly what effect the sense will have once it's implanted. According to the Cyborg Nest FAQ page, North Sense "will be you, in a dance with your own nature, with technology as your dance floor."
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