Do you remember "The Six Million Dollar Man"? It's that old Lee Majors 70s TV show about a former test pilot turned super cyborg due to bionic implants and nuclear-powered limbs.
With his cutting-edge implants, he was essentially turned into a superhero, with incredible speed, vision, and superhuman strength. How would you like to have augmentations like that?
Fun fact: Adjusted for inflation, The Six Million Dollar Man would have cost around $26 million in 2018. An actual bionic man with existing technology? Maybe around $100 million.
But forget superhuman abilities. How about unlocking your front door or car by merely waving your hand? Or listening to music that's embedded in your head? Or ultraviolet facial tattoos that light up under black light?
Today's technology might not give you superspeed nor strength yet, but due to the shrinking size of high-tech electronics and micro-computers and affordable prices, body modification fans are taking the bionic implant game into their own hands.
Russ Fox, transhumanist
Meet 36-year old Russ Foxx, a self-proclaimed "transhumanist" and body modification artist who has had over 100 modifications done to his body over a period of 30 years. (Whoa! This means he had his first body mod when he was around 5 years old.)
His myriad of body modifications, most of which were done by himself, include ultraviolet tattoos, silicone horns, and electronic keys embedded in his hand.
Foxx, who hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has also performed thousands of modifications on others - forked tongues, ornamental scarifications, and implanted subdermal silicon designs.
What started his body mod journey?
Foxx said he started his fondness for extreme body modifications at the tender age of 5 when got his ears initially pierced. And by age 18, he had already amassed over 50 facial piercings, earning him the enviable nickname "Tackle Box."
Why his passion for body modification? Foxx explains,"if there is anything I truly own, it's my body. I view modifications as the art and my body is the canvas."
Form and function
Foxx said his modifications are not for strictly for aesthetic reasons either. As a self-professed "transhumanist" he has embraced technology and is now infusing more function into the forms he creates. Like a homebrew cyborg, he's looking to upgrade and update himself as technology allows it.
With the ever-shrinking size of electronics and microcomputers, he's looking for more body tech augmentations with practical uses. Ever heard of the Internet-of-Things? Could he be, pardon me, the "Man-ternet-of-Things"?
"Since becoming an adult, I find himself gravitating towards more functional modifications that enhance my natural abilities - such as unlocking my front door with a device I've had surgically implanted in my hand," Foxx said about his tech evolution.
Now that he finally has a key fob implanted in his hand, what other sub-dermal gadgets might be possible? I'm thinking fitness trackers, bone conduction earphones, optics, payment microchips, etc. It's not necessarily something most people would do but the possibilities are definitely intriguing.
As a testament to his never-ending pursuit of the perfect body art, Foxx is currently upgrading his silicon horns to "lead the shallow and judgmental way." He said he's not forcing anyone to like his body modifications and he actually encourages questions from people who are intrigued.
However, he asks the public for a little bit of common courtesy. "If you want to ask a modified individual questions, you should always take the same consideration that you would when approaching anybody else in public," Foxx stated.
And as parting advice, he is asking anyone who is interested in body modifications not to go cheap. Foxx's professional work speaks for itself and he strictly uses only safe and high-quality materials for himself and his clients.
Foxx said: "Whether it's tattoos, piercings or advanced body modifications, do not choose the cheap option."
Why? "You only get one body, and your health is of the utmost importance."
Body modifications or not, that's absolutely sound advice, don't you think?
How do you feel about body modifications and tech augmentations? Is it something you would even consider? Drop us a comment!
In other news, here's Amazon's top-secret plan to get robots in your home
Speaking of cyborgs and robots, Amazon is reportedly working on a line of home robots. Is the Jetson-style robot domestic helper here at last? Click here to find out.