First, the news. Apparently researchers have worked up a prototype subdermal display powered by blood. No, I’m serious.
Jim Mielke’s wireless blood-fueled display is a true merging of technology and body art. At the recent Greener Gadgets Design Competition, the engineer demonstrated a subcutaneously implanted touch-screen that operates as a cell phone display, with the potential for 3G video calls that are visible just underneath the skin.
The basis of the 2×4-inch “Digital Tattoo Interface” is a Bluetooth device made of thin, flexible silicon and silicone. It´s inserted through a small incision as a tightly rolled tube, and then it unfurls beneath the skin to align between skin and muscle. Through the same incision, two small tubes on the device are attached to an artery and a vein to allow the blood to flow to a coin-sized blood fuel cell that converts glucose and oxygen to electricity. After blood flows in from the artery to the fuel cell, it flows out again through the vein.
On both the top and bottom surfaces of the display is a matching matrix of field-producing pixels. The top surface also enables touch-screen control through the skin. Instead of ink, the display uses tiny microscopic spheres, somewhat similar to tattoo ink. A field-sensitive material in the spheres changes their color from clear to black, aligned with the matrix fields.
Now, the views.
Is nanotechnology morally acceptable? For a significant percentage of Americans, the answer is no, according to a recent survey of Americans’ attitudes about the science of the very small.
In a sample of 1,015 adult Americans, only 29.5 percent of respondents agreed that nanotechnology was morally acceptable.
Now, this “tattoo” display device isn’t nanotechnology, but it represents the same thing – technological progress resulting in massive shifts in the relationship between humans and machines. The fear of that comes from religion, unfortunately.
“The United States is a country where religion plays an important role in peoples’ lives. The importance of religion in these different countries that shows up in data set after data set parallels exactly the differences we’re seeing in terms of moral views. European countries have a much more secular perspective.”
The catch for Americans with strong religious convictions, Scheufele believes, is that nanotechnology, biotechnology and stem cell research are lumped together as means to enhance human qualities. In short, researchers are viewed as “playing God” when they create materials that do not occur in nature, especially where nanotechnology and biotechnology intertwine, says Scheufele.
That would explain why a comment at the place I found the link to the “tattoo” display called it “The Mark of The Beast”.
Personally, I want someone to point me to the end of the queue. WANT!