Towards insertables: Devices inside the human body

  • Kayla J. Heffernan Computing and Information Systems The University of Melbourne
  • Frank Vetere Computing and Information Systems The University of Melbourne
  • Shanton Chang
Keywords: Insertables, luggables, wearables, implantables, emerging technology

Abstract

As technology becomes smaller, the way we carry it has progressed from luggable, to wearable and now towards devices that reside inside the human body, or insertables. This trend is particularly observable in many medical devices, such as pacemakers that were once large stand-alone devices and are now completely inserted into the body. We are now seeing a similar trajectory with non-medical systems. While people once carried keys to open office doors, these have been mostly replaced with wearable access dongles, worn around the neck or clipped to clothing. Some individuals have voluntarily taken the technology from these dongles and inserted it directly into their body. In this paper we introduce insertables as a new interaction device of choice and provide a definition of insertables, classifying emerging and near future devices as insertables. This paper demonstrates this trajectory towards devices inside the human body, and carves out insertables as a specific subset of devices which are voluntary, non-surgical and removable.

Author Biographies

Kayla J. Heffernan, Computing and Information Systems The University of Melbourne

Kayla J. Heffernan is a doctoral candidate in the School of Computing and Information Systems at The University of Melbourne and user experience designer at SEEK Ltd. She has a masters in Information Systems from The University of Melbourne (2014) and a bachelor of Business Information Systems from Monash University (2011). Kayla’s research explores the use of digital devices inserted inside the human body voluntarily for non-medical purposes.

Frank Vetere, Computing and Information Systems The University of Melbourne

Frank Vetere is a Professor in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, Director of the Microsoft Research Centre of Social Nature User Interfaces and lead of the Interaction Design Laboratory, both also at The University of Melbourne. His primary research areas are Social Computing, Natural User Interfaces and technologies for ageing-well. His broad research agenda is to generate knowledge about the use and design of ICTs for human wellbeing and social benefit.

Shanton Chang

Shanton Chang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. Shanton’s core research areas are three-fold: online behaviour in health, education and wider society, consumer health information and information needs and information systems security culture and management.            

Published
2017-02-20
How to Cite
Heffernan, K. J., Vetere, F., & Chang, S. (2017). Towards insertables: Devices inside the human body. First Monday, 22(3). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i3.6214