Recently we featured some navigation glasses that allow the blind to ‘see through audio.’ It was a concept design that used a microphone, detectors and sensors to act as a sort of echolocation tool. Rich Lee, who is partially blind (but doctors have told him he will eventually be completely blind), has found a way to hack his body to improve his vision. It’s a dramatic procedure that produces dramatic results. He put an implant into his ear which will act as an echolocation tool.
Rich is no stranger to performing DIY body modifications. He’s part of a movement of people who combine a hacking mentality to biology. Rich allowed a body modification artist to implant a magnet into his ear. The coil around Rich’s neck creates a magnetic field. That magnetic field causes the implant in his ear to make sounds and vibrate.
There are many simple everyday uses for this type of magnetic implementation, like listening to music. But there are many other ways this echolocation tool could be used. According to Rich, “I can see myself using it with the GPS on my smartphone to navigate city streets on foot.” Since the implant itself is not detectable, and since the coil can be tucked underneath a shirt, it’s basically hidden.
This is such a revolutionary way to hack a human body, and even though it’s not an ‘approved surgery’ by any means, it’s an inspiring procedure. If you want to read all the details about how Rich did this, you can click over to DIY Headphone Implant. There are several other links on that page which lead you to where he got his inspiration. If you’ve thought about creating something like this for yourself, just know, it can be done.