Additional sensory inputs in the face

I am wanting to find a way to make implantable infrared heat sensors that could detect how hot/cold an object you're looking at is and a sonar sensor that could measure how far away an object is. I was thinking they could send there inputs to magnets behind my ears for the sonar and in my hand for the infrared. Anyone know how I could go about making this and what components I would need?


  • edited August 2016
    Implantable heat sensors? could be a bit dodgy using conventional technology, since you're trying to sense heat through something hot. I'd suggest using an external or transdermal port if you really wanna implant the sensors themselves.
    Also, have you looked at Bottlenose yet?
  • Ah, that seems like a simple solution. I guess I could implant the magnets and put the sensors on top of the skin they're in. How would you suggest I go about installation? I'm wanting the sensors themselves to be on the face so it would be directed at the objects I'm looking at.
  • edited August 2016
    Are you look to be like vipers who can sense IR or heat such as a thermometer with some form of contact.

    Edit: info in the snake sensory
  • I'm still pretty new here but I'm more interested in safer and less painful wearable technology.  There is already infrared heat sensors available so I would be tempted to get one of them, tear it apart, and try to modify it instead of starting from scratch.  Not sure exactly how to change the temperature reading into electromagnetic pulses except like the Bottlenose uses (an Arduino microcontroller).

    As far as having the sensors on your face, I'd think a pair of glasses would be the way to go.  The electromagnetic output could then go right back around your ear to stimulate the implanted magnet.  There are some speech libraries already made for the Arduino that could probably tell you the temperature in actual words instead of needing to learn to interpret a vibration to know the temperature.  With the implanted magnet, I think you would be the only one to hear it but it might get very annoying unless there was a way to turn the voices (or even just a vibrating noise) off like a button on the side of the glasses.

    Work towards having the sensors implanted if that is what you really want but test and perfect everything with wearable devices first.  Once you know your ideas work, then focus on miniaturizing everything and bioproofing them for an actual implant.
  • My first thoughts is to incorporate a bottlenose... :D

    Anything you want to use effectively is going to need to be transdermal, imo >~< which is still nowhere near being ready. That layer of skin over the sensor, if it is planted subdermally, is going to make reading infared almost impossible by my own guess. I could be wrong...
  • Okay. Thanks for the input guys. I'll try to mod up my glasses first, it'd definitely be easier than starting off with implants. 
  • As for transdermal implants, there's an ultra-thin, clear artificial skin that can be used to cover the sensor and skin around it. Not precisely sure what it's called but it was in an article I read a while back. I'll post if I find it.
  • Honestly I would love an excuse to put sensors on my forehead or somewhere on my face.

    A tragus implant is sounding kind of interesting right now.
  • the ultra-thin part is still going to act as a thermal shield, though >~<

    Take a piece of glass, as you wish. completely see through and almost non-existent in regards to optics. But thermally, it's completely opaque and works as a wonderful heat barrier. :s

    I'm worried a thin piece of skin will do the exact same thing. D:>
  • I made a wearable infrared thermometer a couple years ago.
    There should be enough information on this page to recreate it but if you dig back into the blog there was a day-by-day account of what I did. You can also ask me questions.
    My avatar still shows V1.0 of the wearable IR temperature sensor.
  • you would want to do this the route that Neil Harbisson has taken his implant, but with different software and slightly different hardware.  Instead of sampling color and returning a frequency, you could sample a temperature.  You would need a bone transducer implanted against the skull like he has done however, to achieve any sort of sensation.
  • Neil Harbisson was my inspiration for this project but the bone conduction isn't the vital part. Bone conduction doesn't do anything special for people who can hear well except you don't need a speaker plugging your ear. A magnet implanted in the tragus would work splendidly! One of the reasons for a headphone socket was that bone conduction headphones could be inserted if they were handy or the "invisible headphones" could be used just as easily.

    @ightden, you are totally right about different software and hardware. Neil was going for something that could be worn 16 hours a day while I was making a proof of concept. He had a full camera, probably taking the average of a whole field, whereas an IR distance sensor just gets a single reading and sends it as serial data. I didn't even bother with a custom PCB, I just kept a whole Arduino Pro Mini intact and stuffed it in a tiny enclosure.

    If I were going to do this over I would get rid of all the extras like optional output for servos, chattering relays and electromagnetic coils. I would buy or print a case that made it simple to change the battery. In other words it would be a single purpose device.
  • edited August 2016
    I disagree.  My tragus magnet never worked so that's why I'm skeptical.  The tragus is just not sensitive enough to be worthwhile in transmitting information.  Besides, the principle is the same in both methods, whether your vibrating against bone or vibrating the tragus the sound is reaching you the same way.  So why pick the more inefficient way of doing things?  

    A device such as the Bone Bridge would be where to start looking if you wanted to seriously look at implanting a new sense through transduction  image
  • @ightden, I forgot that tragus implants have a relatively low success rate. We agree that the principle is the same though.

    Given my poor hearing I might be a candidate for the Bone Bridge but it's not much for DIY design. In the realm of poor garage hackers, what have you seen for bone conduction?
  • edited August 2016
    yes, same principle but why go for the way that doesnt work?

    We've got a member on the forums here who's been working on coating and designing an implantable bone transducer, but no implantations have been made AFAIK.

    Bone attachment is the way to go for projects of these nature and yes, the BoneBridge is not DIY, but lots of research and development has been put into the product and can lend us ideas.  plus it's very cool.
  • @ightden, all right. I'm convinced that tragus implants aren't the way to go. But then what? Bone conduction headphones are reasonably priced but I wouldn't wear mine all day. I'm a huge fan of benbeezy's Bluetooth implant but that hasn't been successfully prototyped yet.
    At this point I think a project that integrated IR temp sensing with a bone conduction transducer would be pretty cool but mounting to the bone is still out of the possible realm for anyone outside of medicine.
    Bone conduction transducers need more power than you get a from headphone outputs but a 20mA output at 5V from an Arduino might have enough juice.

    Now, if you can convince your doctor you are deaf and afford the cost of surgery then most of what I said is moot.
  • you could make a bone conducting mouth retainer. That would work fantastically.
  • Is the purpose of the bone conduction to "hear" the sensor output or just to sense the output differently than the way finger magnets vibrate the nerves?
  • edited October 2016 per my knowledge anything you want to use effectively is going to need to be transdermal. That layer of
    skin over the sensor, if it is planted subdermally, is going to make
    reading infared almost impossible by my own guess.

  • Hey @McSTUFF are you able to explain how to make the infrared sensor without an arduino? I'm very interested in this and would like to recreate it.
  • @Nick1, you are going to need something to translate the serial data from the infrared thermometer to a perceptible output. In my case I used an Arduino and I've provided my code. I don't see how you'd do this without the Arduino, or at least some processor. Can you tell me why you want to leave out the Arduino?
  • Bummer. I wanted to leave it out because I'm a beginner and I wanted the device to be smaller. Maybe when I get an arduino and some experience I'll try this.
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