I Can Put an Implant in You (with your consent, of course)

I remember when I did my first implant on some else.

I was soon to do an event for Dangerous Things in Estonia. Amal, the company’s founder who has done hundreds of implants, was going to join but discovered that he wasn’t able to after all; so, he asked if I wanted to be trained to do implants. Nervously, I thought for a moment and then answered the obvious: “YES, that’d be great!” said with a smile.

The first step was preparation. I had observed Amal do dozens at that point and understood what it looked like and that it wasn’t a terribly complicated procedure. But that was far from enough to imagine penetrating someone’s flesh and leaving something in there. The start was watching a video a bigillion times. The next step was reading the pro-guide carefully. Then, watch the video a bigillion more times.

But how to go from observation and reading to actually doing. I posted on facebook that I’d give a free implant in exchange for a guinea pig. I got a very pleasant response. One was a response from an interested body mod artist. So, not only would I be able to practice on him, but I’d be able to be overseen by two professionals: Amal and Eric McFaline, who would become a Dangerous Things partner. I ended up having four people lined up, one that Eric would practice on, and three I would practice on. I was especially excited that my partner’s mom, Audrey, wanted one. Also, Arissa Brown, a budding feminist biohacker!

Audrey was my first. Friday, September 4, 2015. Before we went to Eric’s studio which would provide a more professional environment, she wanted it done in her mom’s kitchen. After preparing and sanitizing, I made a mistake, foolishly forgetting the very first rule (talk about nerves) so that the implant could be released into her hand. Fortunately, she was a good sport about it and was patient while I figured it out. Despite the awkwardness, her xNT was implanted perfectly and she uses it daily to enter her apartment.

Later, at the studio, I had Amal there via video and Eric in person. I implanted Eric first and then Eric implanted the next person, and I got to take care of the last. It was exhilarating and nerve wracking at the same time. I loved the responses people gave and the feedback I got. I had accomplished it and would go to Tartu, Estonia where they were holding their Mini Maker Faire.

At the Maker Faire, I installed two people, one from Latvia, and one from Estonia (note: not all the information on the video about the implant is correct; so, if you understand Estonian and watch it, please look up xEM so all the details you have are correct), who got to use his implant right away to unlock rooms at his workplace, the Science Center AHHA where the Maker Faire was hosted.

I may not have been able to do dozens for that event, but I’ve done more since then and find the capability an amazing addition to my life as a biohacker. I hope that skill will expand and I’ll be able to help more people safely get technology implanted in their bodies.

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