VIDEO: Practical Transhumanism - The Grinder Way * 2024
VIDEO: Practical Transhumanism - The Grinder Way * 2024

Tim Cannon considers the human body to be “fundamentally flawed”

Tim Cannon is an American software developer, entrepreneur, and biohacker based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is best known as Chief Information Officer of Grindhouse Wetware, a biotechnology startup company that creates technology to augment human capabilities. Grindhouse was co-founded by Cannon and Shawn Sarver in 2012. Cannon himself has had a variety of body modification implants, and has been referred to in the media as a cyborg.

Tim Cannon has come a long way with the self-optimization project. He gets his body function measuring device called Circadia implanted in his forearm. Cannon is co-founder of Grindhouse Wetware, a coalition of biohackers, programmers, hobbyists and artists, and he is their guinea pig.

The group works on the merging of humans and technology. The Circadia project is the preliminary highlight – and yet it is hardly more than a beginning. Cannon already has a magnet under the tip of his left ring finger, and an RFID radio chip in the skin fold between his thumb and forefinger. If you look closely, you can see the chip.

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Tim has undergone several modifications to improve his human biology

Cannon has spoken at conferences around the world on the topics of human enhancement, futurism, and citizen science, including at TEDx Rosslyn, FITUR, the University of Maryland, the World Business Dialogue, the Medical Entrepreneur Startup Hospital, and others. He has been published in Wired and featured in television shows such as National Geographic Channel’s “The Big Picture with Kal Penn”. Cannon has been featured on podcasts including Ryan O’Shea’s “Future Grind”  and Roderick Russell’s “Remarkably Human”.

Cannon with the magnet, can perceive electromagnetic fields, it’s a kind of sixth sense, albeit without any real practical use. For example, he wants to connect the RFID chip to the lock of his basement laboratory – the door would then only open when his hand is near the door handle. Similarly, he could secure his smartphone, but no one else would be able to use it. A friend of his wants to do the same with a gun – only he could fire it himself.

The Circadia is already the size of a credit card and a few millimeters thick. Cannon has to have it installed by a body modification specialist, without anesthetic. He couldn’t find a doctor who would do that. The version that Grindhouse Wetware plans to sell in the future will get the heart rate monitor, says Cannon.

“It’s mostly a psychological difference,” says Cannon. “Something you only wear is not part of you. On the other hand, when it is in you, you feel connected to it and you use it much more intensively.” Cannon and his biohackers want to expand the human body, so they want to get under the skin.

Tim Cannon wants to implant open source artificial organs in the future

For Tim Cannon, the cyborg, the human-machine being, is just an intermediate step. Within the next ten years, he wants to start replacing human body parts with open-source artificial organs. After all, artificial hearts already exist, he says – but why should you wait until your own heart weakens, or you suffer a heart attack?

The human body is “fundamentally flawed”. Cannon would like to dump his consciousness “into something that won’t rot while I’m talking”.

What are Tim Cannon implants?

Cannon has had a variety of body modification implants, including a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag in his hand and magnetic implants in a finger, wrist, and tragus, causing him to be labelled a cyborg by media outlets including Business Insider, Newsweek, The Awl, and others.

Because of legal and ethical restrictions on the types of surgery that can be done on humans, most of these modifications cannot be done by doctors or anesthetists. Instead, they are done by body modification experts or on a “DIY” basis.

In May 2012, inspired by Lepht Anonym, Cannon had finger magnets implanted to give him an “extra sense”, the ability to feel electromagnetism.

In October 2013, Cannon became the first person to be implanted with the Grindhouse-designed biometric sensor known as Circadia, a procedure which was performed by body modification artist Steve Haworth in Essen, Germany.

The device, approximately the size of a deck of playing cards, automatically sent Cannon’s temperature to his phone, was powered wirelessly through inductive charging, and mimicked bioluminescence with subdermal LEDs.

After a few months as an initial proof-of-concept test, a series of panic attacks led to the device’s removal. Cannon is currently working to design an improved, consumer-friendly version of his Circadia implant that measures additional biometrics such as blood glucose, blood oxygen, blood pressure, and heart rate data.

In November 2015, Tim had a prototype of Grindhouse’s Northstar device implanted into his right forearm during a procedure at the “Cyborg Fair” in Düsseldorf, Germany. A little larger than a coin, Northstar contained five LED lights, creating a bioluminescent effect when touched with a magnet (such as the ones implanted in Cannon’s fingertips.)

Its purpose is solely aesthetic. Capable of blinking around 10,000 times before the battery runs down, the device has been presented as a way to “light” tattoos.

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