I Got a Chip Implanted in a Biohacking Garage

– Cyborgs remind us of characters that are futuristic and fantasy. – He’s more machine, huh, than man? – But in reality, we’re
all basically cyborgs. From glasses to smart watches, we wear and carry and
attach a lot of things that supplement or enhance
our bodies abilities. But there’s a growing movement of people who are taking that
integration to the next level. By implanting everything from magnets to Wi-Fi routers in their bodies. This isn’t the kind of thing that you can just do at your doctors office. So they’ve come up with their own unofficial and surprising
ways to get it done. We went and visited one of the most renowned hacker
surgeons in the country who performs these
procedures in his garage. Now surgery in someones
garage may sound really cool or really scary but this
is the bleeding edge of body and tech integration, and it’s becoming more
and more mainstream. (tranquil music) – Jeff, where the f-ck are the screws? – They should be sitting
on the gray case up there, to your left on the sensory depth chamber. – This is Jeffrey Tibbetts,
he goes by Cassox online. By day, he’s a registered nurse. But at home in his garage,
he’s a hacker surgeon. This is all Biohacking. It’s a movement of citizen scientists who are experimenting on their own bodies outside of the traditional lab space. It could take the form of tech implants or self administering untested medicine, or trying to unlock the
code of living forever. But Jeffrey identifies as a grinder. Grinding is a subset of the
larger Biohacking community which mostly focuses on body modifications and tech implants, like
computer chips in peoples hands, LED lights in arms, magnets in fingertips, and Bluetooth teeth. Really anything to enhance or change the bodies functionality. – There’s so much variety in terms of people in the community. It’s not just people that like
have more medical background, it’s not people who
have biology background. You know, it’s like, yeah,
we have those people. We also have engineers, we have chemists, and material engineers. – We’re playing we got a new game, Jeff. It’s called steal the magnet
from your friends magnet input. – Oh shit, it’s mine now. – I describe myself as a cyborg,
Biohacker, transhumanist. My implants, I had 26
before I arrived here today. And now I have 33, when
I do my math right, 33. I have 33 implants. – [Chase] Anastasia Synn
uses her implants for magic. – [Announcer] Anastasia Synn! – [Chase] We met her at Jeffrey’s where she was getting seven implants. Biohacking exists in a
medical and legal gray area. Which means it’s truly
an underground movement. But the community feels like
they should have the right and ability to accept that inherent risk, and change or modify their
bodies how they want. And that’s exactly what they do. It just ends up in places
like Jeffrey’s garage. – They can’t go to a hospital
to get these implants done, and they do have to come
to my friends garage, which is probably the coolest
garage for making implants, I think, that you’ll
ever see in your life. He’s a skilled practitioner
in what he’s doing, and he’s a good friend of mine. – That’ll get you home. – If you find yourself having a hard time taking this seriously, think about this. We already merge our bodies and
technology in a lot of ways. We’ve just gotten use to
it in certain instances. Consider the pacemaker. An early version of the device revived a stillborn child in the 1920’s. It was a miracle back then. But it was new and people felt weird about reviving the dead,
so research stopped. But overtime public perception shifted. In 1958 the first person was
implanted with a pacemaker. He went on to live another 43 years. Today, we don’t event think
twice about having a pacemaker. It goes to show that our
integration with tech is evolving and always incomplete. Biohackers as we know them are now basically playing around in the lab to see what they can come up with next. And while magnet implants
or Bluetooth teeth really aren’t on the same scale or as life saving as a pacemaker, these implants are just a stepping stone in this ever changing landscape. And I thought that was pretty cool. Reporting on this story and
watching Jeffrey in his garage really got me curious
to know what it was like to get one of the implants. So I decided to jump in the lab with them. – All right so, this is
what I’m talkin’ about. The webbing here is pretty
much the most common place for people to get it, okay. – So, I did some quick research and landed on this NFC chip, which means near field communication. It means the chip can send
and receive information. It looks like a pretty big needle. The chip itself is inside of a capsule and gets injected underneath the skin through a hollow needle. The swelling goes down
in just a couple days and you’re good to go. That’s crazy. So I really wasn’t sure what I could do with the chip once I got it. Chip implants 101 seems
like a good place to start. So I did some research and found that there’s a couple of everyday things I could do with it like open a front door, unlock my car, unlock my computer. But, for me the most useful
thing is working with my iPhone. I can scan it and share my
contact info, open a website, or share a social network. I even programmed it to FaceTime my mom. Hey mom. – How are ya? – Surprisingly, she wasn’t
really freaked out by my implant. – As long that you keep it on that you can FaceTime your
mother, I’m okay with it. – Does this make me a
grinder Biohacker now? – [Jeffrey] I don’t know,
how do you feel about it? – This is just my first one. – [Jeffery] Okay, let’s get some more. – Jeffrey’s work culminates
every year with Grindfest, where dozens of Biohackers from all over come to Jeffrey’s home
and test out the latest technology and try out some new implants. – You know, it’s the
most incredible thing. More information at our fingertips than ever before and more people who have
no idea how to utilize it then ever before, that’s why
we’re such a teaching community people come in and, you know, they think, oh no, I could just do this
and put it in hot glue. Or I could do this, and
it’s like no, you can’t. And let us tell you why. – We just try lots of new things. New discoveries are made. Last Grindfest we were doing
B12 shots on each other. Cattle B12 shots, I
mean they give it to cows, it’s gotta be okay for people. I mean, you shouldn’t just get drunk and play Scrabble, or sing karaoke. You should get drunk and like, you know, inject yourself with some B12. It’ll probably help you the next day. – Most people won’t be
rushing out to do that. But that’s the fundamental idea here. They’re pushing at the
edges of our perception of what we should and
shouldn’t do with our bodies. And they’re learning
a lot in that process. – We one by one made all
of the mistakes on the way. And so it’s like now
everything else is easy. We don’t have to keep making mistakes and we can prey upon on all
of the low hanging fruits. Stuff that’s already been done and researched by people in the medical field. A lot of this stuff that’s really cool and then just brought to a slightly, you know, different level, you know, that’s my take, that’s about what I got. So, cool. – I know, but it was fine. – [Mom] I’m sure, as long as you don’t have any gangrene on yout hand. – Okay. (laughs) I don’t, um yeah. Thanks for watching. For even more great content on biohacking go to our website and subscribe to Freethink for more awesome content every week.

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