Ryan O'Shea/Grindhouse Wetware
Hardware and software aren't the only things getting an upgrade these days.
Biohackers, people who modify their body with things like chip implants or magnets, are always looking for new ways to enhance their bodies with implantable technology.
Most recently, a group of five biohackers had a new device implanted in their hands that lights up when activated by a magnet.
The device, called the Northstar V1, was created by Grindhouse Wetware, which is a Pittsburgh-based startup that develops technology for biohackers. While the device is limited in capability right now, the group aims to have an upgraded model sometime next year that will enable users to control devices using gestures.
"Northstar V1, much like piercings and cosmetic surgeries, is purely for aesthetic purposes. It is a simple device that will prove the possibility of implanting technology in the body and will pave the way for more advanced and functional augmentations," the company said in a press statement.
Northstar Version 2 will be a "rechargeable device that adds gesture recognition and Bluetooth capabilities, enabling users to control electronic devices with hand movements, as well as add patterns or color variations to LED."
To date, some of the most popular implants for biohackers have included NFC chips and Biomagnets, both of which are generally installed via a syringe or a small incision.
Implanted NFC chips can be programmed to do things like unlock a person's smart lock or replace a user's keycards. Biomagnets, which are usually implanted in a person's fingertips, can be used to pick up small items and give the user a sixth sense of sorts, allowing them to sense invisible magnetic fields from devices around them.
Most of the time these devices are installed by a body modification professional or by a doctor.
All five people who were implanted with the Northstar Version 1 are members of Grindhouse Wetware and had the device implanted by professional body modification artists.
Jessica Waldrip, a programmer at Grindhouse Wetware, even documented the whole experience on via social media.
You can check out the procedure below, but be warned, the video is very graphic and not for the faint of heart.