Saturday, October 20, 2007

Quinn Norton - Body Hacking

Quinn Norton is a popular journalist who writes about hacking culture and intellectual property rights. Using Make's motto as impetus, "if you can't open it, don't own it." Norton had a magnet implanted into her finger. She could sense nearby EM fields with it.
According to Huffman, the magnet works by moving very slightly, or with a noticeable oscillation, in response to EM fields. This stimulates the somatosensory receptors in the fingertip, the same nerves that are responsible for perceiving pressure, temperature and pain. Huffman and other recipients found they could locate electric stovetops and motors, and pick out live electrical cables. Appliance cords in the United States give off a 60-Hz field, a sensation with which Huffman has become intimately familiar. "It is a light, rapid buzz," he says. [1]
I'm wondering if this isn't a way to work out some of the touch/tactile issues I'm working with? Magnets in gloves, on the skin or using speaker coils and drivers connecting directly to the skin?

There's also a large commecial body attempting to simulate touch. One example is over at: http://touchlab.mit.edu/news/AsiaTimes_TheInternetsghosttouch.htm


1 Norton, Quinn. Wired. A Sixth Sense for a Wired World. Visited 10-23-07. http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mods/news/2006/06/71087

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