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2019/27/2 Implantable LED light and controller (2), 'Northstar V1' / 'Grindhouse V1 P2', metal / plastic / electrical components, designed and developed at Grindhouse Wetware, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America, 2014-2015, implanted in Jes Waldrip and another unknown person from 2015. Click to enlarge.

'Northstar V1' and 'Grindhouse V1 P2' subdermal LED light implants

Made
The 'Northstar V1' subdermal implant contains five LED lights that turn on when a magnet is passed above them, illuminating the user's skin with an effect that imitates the bioluminescence of some fish and insects. Five core members of Grindhouse Wetware had the device implanted in the top of their hand in 2015 to demonstrate the idea of human augmentation. They received media coverage at the time and indicated that the device was purely for aesthetic purposes. Like the earlier 'Circadia 1.0' …

Summary

Object No.

2019/27/2

Object Statement

Implantable LED light and controller (2), 'Northstar V1' / 'Grindhouse V1 P2', metal / plastic / electrical components, designed and developed at Grindhouse Wetware, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America, 2014-2015, implanted in Jes Waldrip and another unknown person from 2015-2016

Physical Description

Two 'Northstar V1' circular subdermal implants each containing five red LEDs, processor and battery. When operating, the LEDs turned on in the presence of a magnetic field.

The implant marked 'Northstar P1' is the earlier version of the design. This device was implanted in an unknown person in 2015-2016.

The implant marked 'Grindhouse V1 P2' with the pentagram background is the later version, which was redesigned to address issues with locking during immersion testing, This device was implanted in Jes Waldrip in 2015 and remained there for around eight months.

Production

Notes

Designed, developed and made by Grindhouse Wetware, including Tim Cannon, Shawn Sarver, Marlow Webber, Lexi Linnell, Jes Waldrip in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, in 2014-2015. Both these devices were implanted in 2015 and then later removed. The device with the pentagram background was implanted in Jes Waldrip for two years. The other was implanted in an unknown recipient.

The implant contains five LED lights that turn on when a magnet is passed above them, illuminating the user's skin with an effect that imitates the bioluminescence of some fish and insects. The original idea for the device came from tattoo recipients who wanted a way to backlight their body art.

History

Notes

The Northstar V1 was released at Dusseldorf Cyborg Fair, Germany, November 2015. Five core members of Grindhouse Wetware had the device implanted in the top of their hand to demonstrate the idea of human augmentation. It followed on from the demonstration of the 'Circadia 1.0' device developed by the group in 2013. This device with the pentagram background was implanted in the hand of Jes Waldrip in 2015 and remained there for around eight months.

"Northstar V1, much like piercings and cosmetic surgeries, is purely for aesthetic purposes. It is a simple device that will prove the possibility of implanting technology in the body and will pave the way for more advanced and functional augmentations" *

This idea was further developed into 'Northstar V2', which was a rechargeable device that added gesture recognition and Bluetooth, enabling users to control electronic devices with hand movements, as well as add patterns or colour variations to the LEDs. Grindhouse tried to sell these devices, but found that there wasn't a market for them. They recognised the significant regulatory challenges involved in proving the devices and couldn't obtain sufficient investment to continue developing implants for humans. At the suggestion of Australian biohacker Meow-Ludo Disco Gama Meow Meow, the group applied for funding in Australia to redevelop the sensors for use in animals, and spun off the Livestock Labs company in 2017 to develop the EmbediVet device. From September 2017 Livestock Labs was supported by the Cicada Innovations GrowLab program and funded by Meat Livestock Australia to translate the technology developed for humans in 'Circadia 1.0' and 'Northstar V1' into a commercially viable product for use in animals.

Grindhouse Wetware was founded in December 2011, with the mission of augmenting humanity using safe, affordable technology. The name is a combination of the term 'grinders' which refers to people who practice body modification by implanting electronic hardware to improve their capabilities. 'Wetware' refers to the bioelectric and biochemical properties of the human body and brain in particular.

* Company statement quoted in Thompson, C, (10 November 2015) 'A new cyborg implant may give users the power to control devices with their gestures', Business Insider Australia, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/grindhouse-wetware-launches-new-implantable-northstar-device-2015-11

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Livestock Labs, 2018

Acquisition Date

27 June 2019

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Northstar V1' and 'Grindhouse V1 P2' subdermal LED light implants 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <https://ma.as/562945>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/562945 |title='Northstar V1' and 'Grindhouse V1 P2' subdermal LED light implants |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}