Idea for a Watch Implant

Preface: I have no idea how to design implants. I’m just posting this idea because it seems possible, and I don’t have other friends who I could pester and discuss this with for longer than a few seconds… :stuck_out_tongue:

So I don’t know what amal coats these things in, but the day after I got my implant implanted I was motivated to design my own implant, my main bit of inspiration was this video by grindhouse wetware which included an update of a North Star version 2 implant at around 42 seconds in. I currently use a Mi Band 4 as my watch but I wondered if I would be able to replace it with an implant with similar functionality so I don’t have to wear any “jewelry”, I came up with the following:


Something like an espruino MDBT42Q module (not sponsored lol I just think these are really cool) which is tiny, power efficient, and can easily be wirelessly programmed and debugged through bluetooth low energy for the brains. To it you can connect some extra sensors like accelerator/gyro for gestures, (to turn on the display) etc. and I don’t know how they work exactly but a heartrate detector to get on par with a smart watch, not to mention the module has a built in thermometer and can even be used as an NFC tag as long as an antenna is provided.

Batteries and Charging

For the batteries I don’t know what would work, in the grindhouse wetware video I think I can see a lithium-ion battery in the implant but I’m not entirely convinced about the safety of this, but then again I have no idea what other kinds of battery there are other then “the 1.5v cylinder kinda ones” and “lithium-ion” sooo this is something I’d appreciate input on. :stuck_out_tongue:

The North Star v2 has wireless charging which is (probably) how all implants with batteries should charge, maybe somehow you could have some sort of USB-C or even micro port exposed to the surface of the skin so you can feel like you’re hooking up into the matrix but I don’t know about the long-term of that. lmfao

Just laying your forearm on a wireless charger for a while seems a bit dumb so something I saw in the comments of the grindhouse wetware video was along the lines of a wrist band/strap that you can strap around the location of the implant so you can charge while you read, program, or some other activity that requires moving your arm but not that much.


Lastly, the display. (which is something I would really like opinions/input on) Flexible LCDs would be the coolest option but they probably won’t shine through the skin especially in a readable state. LEDs are the only(? I hope I can be proven wrong on this bc that would be cool) current method of displaying information “on” the skin, so my current idea is using binary to display the time. 4 LEDs for the hours, (4 bits can show up to the number 15) 1 LED to show am/pm, (although I prefer 24h this would look the neatest) and 6 LEDs for minutes. (6 bits can show up to 64 which is just enough)

The main reason I like the Mi Band is the fact I can customize the watchface (even if I have to use non-official software to do so lol) and display the date and battery and stuff as well, and view all the steps data and stuff on the band, but with something like this LED solution that would not be possible and you’d have to see the data synced to your phone or something - which is why I would appreciate input.

Here is a rough diagram to show what I mean. :stuck_out_tongue:


-and then just coat it all in some flexible bio-plastic or whatever and you have a watch implant simple as that. :slight_smile: this turned out way longer than I expected it to lol but I hope it is of at least some worth


Basically the current state of battery tech is unusable in a long term implant. The discussion comes up from time to time, but think of it this way. Phone batteries catch fire all the time.

Imagine THAT inside you.


I become a superhero, duh! tenor (7)

Edit: Gonna get there eventually


I think reliable safe battery tech is the only missing component to true on board (in board?) computing.

Yeah a watch would be cool, but a whole friggin phone would be within reach then.


A watch implant is also something I’ve been mulling over for a bit now. This is one use case where there actually is a satisfactory power source available in the form of betavoltaic cells. Other types of nuclear batteries use heat (thermionic emissions) to generate power, which is inefficient and requires a very active and dangerous source like plutonium. Betavoltaic cells use tritium decay (like our old friend the xGLO) which is directly convert into energy in a process similar to solar panels.

The reasons we’re not using these for everything are:

  • microamps of power
  • currently very expensive
  • currently very bulky (for an implant)

But for a watch implant, all of those limitations are negated. It has to be reasonably bulky for readability anyway, there is already a market for high cost-per-unit watches in place, and watches require very little power. You would only need a few μA to keep the time, and you could store any extra in a capacitor that would dump into the LED display when you infrequently wanted to view it (maybe with an arm shake).

Betavoltaic cells are currently available from some retailers like citylabs. They’re still pretty expensive (~$2500 IIRC?) and large (16mm x 16mm x 4mm). I’m just waiting for the technology to catch up and become cheaper/smaller. There’s not a large market push, so we’re might be waiting awhile. Luckily they are making some amazing progress on thin film semiconductors as a byproduct of electric car development, so we might see some accidental discoveries in the next few years that bring this forward leaps and bounds.


Is this that graphene I have heard about forever?

Graphenes and perovskites and nitrides, oh my!

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What i would prefer (but probably much further out) is a touchscreen that instead of being under the skin, replaces the skin being flush with the rest of your arm. the problem there is where the display meets skin. thats probably a major infection risk


I think somebody brought this up in another thread, but why would you prefer an integrated touchscreen in your arm over a heads-up-display in your eye? Would be much easier to implement and would give you even more functionality.


I’ve been doing some research on battery types, has there been any thought on Sodium-ion Batteries before? From what I was able to gather they seem to be just as good as Lithium-ion except ‘safer’ and a bit less power density.

A compromise would probably be a nice nano-tech tattoo that’s always perfectly sharp, doesn’t fade, and stuff… :thinking:

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i mean, yea a contact lens that gives you a hud would definately be better and i think is almost a thing. we were just talking about a watch tho…

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Well a clock in your eye would count as a watch. There simply small timepieces that are worn hence Wrist watch and Pocket watch. :thinking: if you had a subdermal wrist watch, would it also be a pocket watch because it’s in a college pocket?

Personally for time telling I would want some sort of internal clock modification, something where I simply know what time it is.

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ya know, you have a point. also absolutely, internal, accurate clock would be awesome but i feel like that’s gonna require either a neural interface of some kind or training your brain to recognize something else as a sense of time.


I have considered using an xG3 and a electromagnetic coil emitting some sort of modulating signal that I hopefully could learn. If we get a functional neural interface so many possibilities open up :drooling_face:

hmm, i wonder how well that would work. both in general and with a non sensing magnet

As I understand it, the xG3 as “sensing magnet” struggles due to the high inertia of the larger magnet and the thick encapsulation is not influenced enough by the tiny fields around wires and such. It however works well for audio (Tragus Implants) so I imagine it would work in the same way. Learning the signal would be tricky however, also the impacts of not always having the sense (recharging, showering etc) would be interesting.

you are convincing me that this could work. lets do it! I dont have one yet though…


I made a post about it here (Using xG3 to add a digital sense) still tempted to try. Issue for me so far is working out the best location. Prehapse the collar bone area with a coil necklace, but maybe it’s not nerve dense enough…