For years now Cyberpunks across the world have been heralding the coming dystopia. Everyday we look in the news seeing more and more about expanding corporate powers, government surveillance, police brutality, armed drones, state sponsored cyberwarefare, corruption, environmental disasters, hackers and militant groups.. Naturally with all these things occurring many of us have declared the cyberpunk age arrived. But when we look around we see that there is something missing.


We have all the punk, but where’s the cyber?


Unfortunately, there is no cyber shop on every corner. The cyber part of cyberpunk is conspicuously absent. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to only consider augmentative cyber. This does not include things like pacemakers, cochlear implants or our current prostheses. These things can do remarkable and amazing things for those who need them but its not something the vast majority of would consider getting implanted for no reason.





One of the most common augmentative implants right now, magnets allow the user to ‘feel’ electromagnetic fields. In addition, having a magnet in your finger brings along the ability to pick up small ferrous items such as paper clips or screws.


While never dropping the screw from latest deck mod your working on is nice, the real reason that most people want this is the ability to feel electromagnetic fields. This would include items such as other magnets, microwaves or, if you really don’t like having fingers, MRI machines.


The procedure itself is not traditionally considered medical in nature, because of this; some doctors may not be willing to preform the operation. Rather, body artists generally preform the operations.


According to an interview with Eric Boyd, the brain can take several weeks to begin understanding the new sensation. Because of the forging nature of the object, the brain does not immediately understand what is going on but it will eventually begin registering the input as from the magnet.




RFID Implant

One of the most intriguing options out their right now, the implantation of RFID chips looks especially promising in terms of possible uses. Previously, RFID chips have been used to do things like log onto computers, turn lights on and off as well as open doors with electronic locks. The potential uses could eventually include the ability to have trauma doctors read your medical information in an instant or have your movements tracked by a tyrannical surveillance state.


However, like most new and emerging technologies, caution should be shown. In a laboratory study done on the chips during the 1990’s that had shown that some mice suffered malignant tumors likely linked to the chips. Despite this, the FDA has approved the technology and its use in domestic pets has not shown a correlation between the chips and cancer.





Similarly to the RFID chips, NFC chips are an emergent technology that holds the possibility for remarkable growth. Especially now that NFC is in use by a growing number of mobile devices. Having this technology at your fingertips allows you to unlock your phone without the need for passphrases or fingerprints. Unfortunately, your not likely to be able to ditch the NFC enabled cards anytime soon however, as most of those NFC chips purposely make it very difficult to clone that information.


Unlike Magnets, RFID and NFC have less immediate things that you can actually do with them. They have plenty of room to grow but because of how rare they are right now, there is not a lot of support by manufacturers for the chips. However, as with so many things, this is just an opportunity for you to come up with your own uses.


As a final word of warning, seriously consider getting these implants before you do. Right now these things are far closer to the fringe then they are to the mainstream, and while there are plenty of incredibly active and engaged communities (I will specifically call out the community) getting these implants is still done at your own risk.


Useful Links

Dangerous Things– An implant distributor

Steve Haworth Modified LLC– An early pioneer, distributes magnets for implantation forums and wiki


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