Meet the Biohackers Who Are Transforming Their Own Bodies

My name's Louis I'm 16 years old

I go to Dobson High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and I am a biohacker the world's most extreme body hackers gather at a home in the mountains beside the Mojave Desert for Grindfest, a weekend devoted to the merging of body modification and technology This year culminated with an electrified knife fight, but the main draw was the implantation of anything from magnets to microchips that it's kind of, "Oh, they're piercing artists who are doing this," and that's OK The fact that we're using technology when we're doing this, people think of it as something different, and it seems like, "Oh, this is probably some dangerous thing

" And, "These schmoes in a garage are cutting themselves” or whatever, and it's like, no, we actually do a lot of research We put a lot more effort into it than, for example, a new implant for the body modification community would –Biohacking and grinding appeal to me because I was just looking for the next step We're always chasing after what's gonna be the next big thing, and, to me, grinding and biohacking encapsulates almost all of the next big things –Rather than having this kind of, "Let's talk about the philosophical ramifications and the ethics of something," instead it's like, "No, let's go in and let’s do some soldering and throw some of this crap together and see what we can get done

" –Grindfest is a combination of a family reunion and a mad scientist convention The people who are here have wonderful ideas, great skill sets They are both a family and a community, and they're trying to help each other do more and be more, and that draws you in –What do I think about Grindfest? We get out at LAX We get a ride that he's arranged, and the first person I meet is somebody of Caucasian descent with two horns on their head

We're very open, but that was the first impression I got, and I had to make sure I changed my thought process and see everybody's hearts and be aware of it So I like the hearts of people here I really do –A lot of biohackers for the past few years have been experimenting with things like magnet implants and RFIDs or NFC chips that can confirm your identity or work as contact-less payment for credit card purchases I think a lot of that is getting to be in the mainstream

And you see this now You see companies chipping their employees so they can access their buildings –It actually falls under body modification I can't do anything that's truly medical I can't do anything that's gonna be really invasive and can be construed as being some kind of surgery

–Can you do incisions and surgery on yourself? I think you should be able to, but then you cross that line of would it be safer to have a trained person do that on you? I think it would, but perhaps that's illegal in some cases –I ended up with an eye injury, and kind of was joking about, Do we have the Terminator eye ready yet, 'cause if so, let's take my eye out and we’ll put that in The doctor basically said, "Yeah, no, we don't have that," and walked away, but that led me to question, what do we have? So that got me into implanting the injectable RFIDs, NFCs into my hand just to see what I could do with it I can feel electromagnetic fields I have technically 6 senses now

That's kinda cool, right? It's a simple little thing you can do but it changes the way you view the world Tomorrow, the FDA could say everything that's happening here is illegal What I think we need proactively, and we're trying to build this from within and self-police, is common-sense regulation so that people can say, "There's already a standard of practices We know what the rules are We can play in this space

" are still in their infancy The future of body hacking could have major impacts on society –Imagine falling asleep, and your house knows this because your temperature dropped and your heart rate dropped, so you're lights turn off, and your doors lock, and your house goes into sleep mode And then as soon as you wake up, you don't have to do anything Your coffee maker starts brewing your coffee, and your lights turn on, and the shower starts running

And this can all happen by sharing information from your body with your technology and having it interact with you, and that's really what I'm looking forward to, is outsourcing these decisions to my environment so that I can focus on more important things –People like their Fitbits, and if you can show them a tiny little implant that acts likes a Fitbit but lasts for two years, and they never have to worry about it or think about it or recharge it, it just shows up on their phone with their data, there's gonna be a point where people are like, "Yeah, do that That's awesome"

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