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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Would You Implant a Cell Phone in Your Arm?

Last week at the library, my colleague Diane and I presented a workshop on mobile web. We demonstrated the various websites that can be accessed through your mobile phone and explained some of the related technology that makes it all possible. At the end of our presentation we included a few slides showing prototypes of future cell phone applications. One of them is an implanted cell phone with a digital tattoo interface.

It's designed to work using a person's blood as a power source. See the diagram and explanation below for a more detailed description.
This isn't a joke. This prototype was entered in the 2008 Greener Gadgets Competition. It's considered green technology because cell phones as we know them now contain toxic materials that require special recycling. You can read more about electonic device recycling here.

Even though it says the tattoo disappears when not in use, personally, I feel squeamish just looking at the picture! That's why I was so relieved to receive the following joke in my email today:

Three women, two younger, and one a senior citizen, were sitting naked in a sauna. Suddenly there was a beeping sound. One of the young women pressed her forearm and the beep stopped. The others looked at her questioningly. "That was my pager," she said. "I have a microchip under the skin of my arm."

A few minutes later, a phone rang. The second young woman lifted her palm to her ear. When she finished, she explained, "That was my mobile phone. I have a microchip in my hand."

The older woman felt very low-tech. Not to be outdone, she decided she had to do something just as impressive. She stepped out of the sauna and went to the bathroom. She returned with a piece of toilet paper hanging from her rear end.

The others raised their eyebrows and stared at her. The older woman finally said...."Well, will you look at that...I'm getting a fax!"

All kidding aside, here's your chance to sound off. How would you respond to the question, "Would you implant a cell phone in your arm?"
Would you implant a cell phone in your arm?
No way! That tattoo looks like the Mark of the Beast.
No. I don't want to be seen talking to my arm!
No. I use sign language and would only have one hand available to sign with, duh!
No. It hasn't been proven medically safe.
Yes. I'd consider it. Pacemakers, cochlear implants, this is just the latest thing.
Yes. I'd never have to look for my phone again! free polls


kim said...

HAHAHAHA! That joke! NO! I wouldn't implant a cell phone. I don't want people calling me all the time. There are times a person needs privacy, even from the phone. Aside from that I wonder if the arm cell is hearing aid compatible. :-)

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Kim,
Yeah, I was wondering that myself. Could you ever turn the "arm phone" off? It would probably be HA compatible since it's far enough away from the ear... but wouldn't a hard of hearing person have to contort his/her body to bring that "arm phone" closer to the ear? How awkward!

SpeakUp Librarian said...

P.S. I've added a poll to the end of the blog post, so you can weigh in on this topic. As they say in Chicago, "vote early and vote often."

Justin said...

how will I access the cell phone menus if i am driving or all bundled up in the winter? sounds like a bad idea. Maybe a mind controlled interface able to browse the internet and play video games.With the ability to store and access information making multi tasking super easy and tradition forms of education ancient history. implanting a microscopic chip may be all that we need to do. just wait for Graphene based electronics.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Excellent points, Justin. Thanks for your comment. I'm not familiar with Graphene based electronics. I'll have to look that up.