Resourceful man creates invisible headphones… by implanting them directly in his earJuly 2, 2013 2 Email article | Print article
Forget earbuds, they’re uncomfortable, they always fall out of your ears and you can totally see them. A man has actually created invisible headphones for a DIY project with magnets.
Rich Lee actually designed a sound system that’s been implanted directly into his earlobes. The idea for his project came from an Instructables feature that involved two in-ear magnets which use a unique amplifier connected to a magnetic coil necklace.
The necklace related to the system is actually hidden under Lee’s shirt, and the scars from the implants are hardly noticeable. That means Lee could be standing right next to you and you’d never even know if he was listening to music, or a local sports broadcast.
This practice is called transhumanism or body modification, and the more direct term is “grinder”. It involves merging the human body with implants or electrical components.
Lee actually has a lot more features in mind for the system, some of which will offer him superhuman abilities of sorts. He wrote about his ideas recently in H+ magazine.
“Listening to music is nice and probably the most obvious answer, but I intend to do some very creative things with it. I can see myself using it with the GPS on my smartphone to navigate city streets on foot. I plan to hook it up to a directional mic of some sort (possibly disguised as a shirt button or something) so I can hear conversations across a room. Having a mic hooked up to it and routed through my phone would be handy.”
“You could use a simple voice stress analysis app to detect when people might be lying to you. Not to say that is a hard science, but I’m sure it could come in handy at the poker table or to pre-screen business clients. I have a contact mic that allows you to hear through walls. That might be my next implant actually.”
In other words, Lee aims to take full advantage of the new system. Can you blame him really?
He wants to develop an echolocation or sonar system that will allow him to judge the proximity of nearby objects and people. Basically, the in-ear sound devices would be connected to an ultrasonic range finder, that omits high frequency sound signals which can bounce off objects and return. It generates a hum through the sound devices, which grows louder as objects are closer and quieter as they move away. Lee will actually soon be legally blind, so it’s a project that’s right up his alley.
“I’d love to hook a geiger counter up to it and experience the world of radiation. Living near the old Nevada nuclear testing grounds provides a lot of opportunity for this. I wouldn’t mind finding some yellow cake uranium while on a hike because that stuff is expensive. Hearing a gentle hiss around warm objects might be a novel way to experience the thermal realm. The implant is going to allow for a lot of new senses.”
Of course, there are a lot of stipulations for the system. Some are more dangerous than others, for example Lee can’t go anywhere near powerful magnets. Still, Lee is dedicated to developing his ideas further, and the ideas of others. It doesn’t take a genius to see that implants like this could be used for a lot of practical applications.
“I have a hundred project ideas as well as plans for future implants. I can only do so many at once, but if people are welcome to design and ship me implants if they need a lab rat. I know a lot of hopeful lab rats actually.”
Do you have any ideas for such an implant? Let us know in the comments below!