Potential Uses Of Subdermal Implants
Just what are subdermal implants? The placing of a foreign object just underneath the surface of the skin is called a subdermal implant. These implants are usually 3-dimensional objects which, when placed under the skin, create a pattern once the skin has healed.
Body Modifications Are Nothing New
Subdermal implants can be looked upon as a type of body modification, a practice that has been followed by various cultures since time immemorial. Body modifications have included piercing bones through the nose, neck stretching, lip stretching, carving patterns in the skin, and any number of other practices, some of which have religious significance, some of which denote a rite of passage, and some of which either perform a cosmetic function or are simply narcissistic.
Practical Uses In Animal Husbandry
A tattoo could be considered a subdermal implant of sorts, although we usually don’t think of a tattoo in that sense. After all, we’re talking about ink, and not about a solid object. The implanting of a solid object under the skin has proven to be of significant practical value in the world of animal husbandry. Computer chips placed under the skin of horses or cows have in many instances replaced the more conventional types of brands, and are a lot more humane than a branding iron. People have had a chip placed beneath the skin of a pet, so the pet can be identified should it ever become lost.
Beautiful Art, Or Just A Series Of Bumps?
As far as the cosmetic use of these implants is concerned, it’s often a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. To some, the pattern of a star on the back of the hand or on the chest might be considered attractive, just as a tattoo can be attractive. What subdermal implants provide are, to some degree, 3-dimensional tattoos. On the other hand, a pattern, or a series of bumps appearing at some place on the body isn’t always all that attractive, and may seem downright repulsive to some.
Just as people can sometimes go overboard when it comes to tattoos, some will no doubt go overboard in their selection of subdermal implants. The results could in some cases be downright scary, a case in point being a man who, over a period of time, had two bumps placed under his scalp, and increased the size of these bumps over time (by stretching the skin). The final result was a pair of horns, presumably like the devil has, but hopefully a bit shorter.
If there’s a problem with these implants, besides being in questionable taste in some cases, it has to do with the fact that the practice can sometimes lead to an infection, or if the body rejects the implant, permanent scarring may result. Scars, like tattoos that are no longer wanted, can often be quite difficult to get rid of without leaving other marks.
Where Implants Could Become Highly Practical And Beneficial
On the other hand, these implants have opened the door to a number of potential and practical uses. We’ve already mentioned their use on animals for the purpose of branding or identification. Chips could also be placed under the skin of humans for identification purposes. This should certainly not be done as a means to control the general population, although there are always those who think that way, but implants could be used for security purposes. In other words, a chip placed under the skin could act as a badge or and ID, that would allow a person who has been cleared, enter a secured area. A chip placed under the skin on a person’s arm could serve as a remote of sorts, enabling that person to enter a home or a business, turn on the lights, fire up a computer, or start a car buy pushing a “button” located under the skin. The “button” would likely be a capacitive sensor. Of course, if one were to roll over on an arm while sleeping, the garage door might start opening and closing in the middle of the night. There are definitely a number of potential problems that will have to be worked out.
The Medical World May Provide The Initial Practical Implants
It will be interesting to see if we somehow manage to get beyond the sometimes weird practice of body modification and cosmetics, and put these implants to more practical uses. The medical arena seems to hold the greatest promise at the moment. We already have pacemakers, although they are not subdermal implants, but are inserted deep in the chest where they are hard to access should the need arise. A pacemaker that lies just beneath the skin, if it is possible to develop such a device, would be a major step forward. Much if not most of the research being done on these types of implants is in fact being done by the medical community. The technology is certainly already here that will enable a physician to monitor a patient’s vital signs from a distance, either by having the patient periodically “scan” an implanted chip, or by simply holding it up against a smart phone. Consumer electronics may be next, although inserting implants that enable one to become a walking entertainment center still seems a bit far-fetched, and perhaps not all that useful.