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Rebuilding the human body

There's no way you'd have imagined this tech 20 years ago. From video game-inspired carbon-fiber arms to bionic lenses that let you see better than 20/20, these applied (and often implanted) cyborg technologies are changing the way we think about the human body.

Published:Caption:Photo:J.C. Sheitan Tenet
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The Circadia 1.0

In 2013, biohacker Tim Cannon had this biosensor implanted into his arm, between the skin and the muscle. The Circadia checks your temperature and your pulse, then syncs this information to an Android device. It also conveys information by lighting up.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Cannon
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A biosensor, with more versions to come

The Circadia seems large for a device limited to two functions, but it has a lot of potential for future development. It isn't available to the mass market at this point, but you can get in touch with Grindhouse Wetware to learn more about getting your own.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Cannon
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The phantom limb

James Young lost most of his arm and half of his leg in a train accident in 2012. Today, he's famous for being the owner of the "phantom limb," a carbon-fiber limb inspired by the protagonist's prosthetic in the game Metal Gear Solid.

Published:Caption:Photo:BodyHacking Con
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An intelligent (and tricked out) prosthetic

Muscle activity in Young's back determines this prosthetic's movements. The arm also features a laser, a data display panel and LEDs that mimic Young's heartbeat.

Learn more about the Phantom Limb at BodyHacking Con.

Published:Caption:Photo:BodyHacking Con
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Color-sensing antenna

In 2004, Neil Harbisson had an antenna implanted into his skull, making him the world's first government-acknowledged cyborg.

Published:Caption:Photo:TED
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The antenna that sees ultraviolet and infrared light

The antenna translates visible colors into sound. This means that Harbisson, who has been color-blind from birth, can experience all the colors of the rainbow and more, thanks to the antenna he's programmed to detect infrared and ultraviolet light.

Watch Harbisson's TED Talk here.

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Drumming arm prosthetic

After he lost half his arm, drummer Jason Barnes worked with Gil Weinberg, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, to create this unique drumming prosthetic so he could still play in his band.

Published:Caption:Photo:Georgia Tech
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A drumming arm that thinks for itself

Not only does Barnes' prosthetic detect muscle movement and allow him to play, it also has another drumstick that listens to the beat and improvises on its own.

Watch Barnes use the drumming prosthetic here.

Published:Caption:Photo:Georgia Tech
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Firefly tattoos

These tattoos, also known as subdermal tritium lighting implants, glow in the dark using the same material found in emergency exit signs.

Published:Caption:Photo:Alex Smith at Cyberise.me
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Glow-in-the-dark tattoos that last for six years

These implants are so small that you can inject them. Since the half-life of their main component, tritium, is 12 years, firefly tattoos glow brightly for an estimated 6 years.

Learn more about firefly tattoos at Cyberise.me.

Published:Caption:Photo:Alex Smith at Cyberise.me
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Tattoo gun prosthetic

This tattoo gun is one of the more hardcore things you'll see. After losing his arm, tattoo artist J.C. Sheitan and designer Gonzal created this custom prosthetic arm, which allows Sheitan to continue to work -- and look awesome in the process.

Published:Caption:Photo:J.C. Sheitan Tenet
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Moon Ribas' earthquake sensors

Ribas may not look like your standard cyborg, but she has tiny sensors implanted near her elbows. The tech vibrates whenever an earthquake occurs anywhere on the planet. The magnets receive live information from an online seismograph.

Published:Caption:Photo:TEDxMünchen
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Dancing to the vibrations of earthquakes

Ribas' entire art form is linked to these vibrations. During a performance, Ribas will stand on stage until her sensors detect an earthquake, at which point she'll choreograph a dance based on the vibrations.

Watch Moon Ribas' TEDx talk here.

Published:Caption:Photo:TEDxMünchen
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e-Nable prosthetics

Prosthetics can cost thousands of dollars. e-Nable is a network of volunteers who provide custom, 3D-printed prosthetics and braces to people in need.

Published:Caption:Photo:BodyHacking Con
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Affordable custom prosthetics

These aren't just regular prosthetics: e-Nable's designs are affordable, easy to assemble, and custom fitted. They're especially great for kids, who don't often fit standard-issue prosthetics.

See other awesome prosthetics at BodyHacking Con.

Published:Caption:Photo:BodyHacking Con
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Versatile Extra-Sensory Transducer

The VEST (Versatile Extra-Sensory Transducer) detects sound waves, and translates them into small vibrations. Developed by neuroscientist David Eagleman, the VEST allows deaf people to experience sound in a new way.

Learn more about the VEST and other inventions at BodyHacking Con.

Published:Caption:Photo:BodyHacking Con
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Bionic lenses

This new invention promises to improve human vision beyond 20/20. Designed by Dr. Garth Webb of Ocumetics Technology Corp., the artificial lens was designed to give blind people the ability to see. While it isn't yet available on the market, the bionic lens would be inserted through a simple procedure resembling cataract surgery.

Published:Caption:Photo:Getty Images
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North Sense

This small device sticks on your skin and vibrates whenever you face north. It was developed by Cyborg Nest, a company dedicated to reconnecting people with the environment through technology.

Published:Caption:Photo:Cyborg Nest
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