The tiny device, called abiliti and made by Intrapace, attaches to the vagus nerve, which sends status updates about the body’s organs to the brain. The pacemaker then hacks the nervous system’s normal communication, according to the company’s website:
The abiliti system is designed to support these good habits by making the patient feel full sooner when eating. The abiliti system may also help in keeping them satisfied longer and helping them to eat less frequently.
Intrapace reports that the 65 study participants in the initial trials have lost on average 22 percent of their body weight; the biggest loser dropped 38 percent. (These results haven’t been published or peer-reviewed.)
Just as Beethoven suffered through hearing loss and Hemingway struggled with depression, an artist at New York University is also suffering for his art, but in a slightly different way: his body has rejected part of the camera that he implanted in his head.
Back in November, Wafaa Bilal, an NYU photography professor, embarked on a novel art experiment: he went to a Los Angeles tattoo shop and had a titanium base inserted behind the skin on the back of his head. Three posts that extended from this insert were then attached to a camera that snapped pictures once a minute, viewable to everyone on his website.