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A Chipped Tooth the Digital Age

Techstination feature for Friday, June 21, 2002

Pop a chip in your mouth and prepare for the digital future. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The work has been taking place at Media Lab Europe in Dublin. James Auger and fellow researcher Jimmy Loizeau have developed a chip designed to be implanted into a tooth. The idea, says Auger...

"It's a mode of receiving digital information directly into your head."

The information would go into a little pocket sized device, which would then transmit it to the chip in your tooth...

"What this device does through bone resonance, sound information vibrates from the tooth directly to your inner ear. So it could be messages. It could be information about the stock market, etc. It's completely up to the individual from what source they'd like their information to come from."

And you would hear it without disturbing anyone else. In meetings, restaurants, theatres, you name it. Auger expects the first device to be tested on a human within six months. And while a lot of us cringe at the idea of a chip implant in our heads, the researcher says...

"I think it is inevitable. It's very similar to the debate that's raging in genetics at the moment but the difference is ... if you're thinking about technology in the body, I'll give you one scenario. At the moment we do accept technology in our body for replacement surgery if something goes wrong such as your joints or a pacemaker within your heart. This is acceptable."

An interesting note. The wireless technology being used to transmit to the implant is called Bluetooth. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.