iDermal: Man Implant Magnets to Hold iPod Nano

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So you want to wear your iPod nano like it was a wristwatch, but the idea of a fat band to hold it just really turns you off. What’s a fellow to do? If you’re Dave Hurban, you make the only logical move that you can and surgically embed four magnets into your own arm to hold that nano where it belongs, on your wrist.

Dave Hurban & His iPod nano

Dave Hurban and his magnetically held iPod nano

Mr. Hurban did just that with the help of Jason Williams, who is named as the “Prototype Engineer” for the project. Mr. Hurban also had the process of embedding the magnets filmed and made into a video, but we should warn you that the video (below) is absolutely not for the squeamish.

Dave Hurban's Dermal Anchors

Dave Hurban’s magnets

Technically, these magnets are a form of body modification (or body piercing) known as dermal or microdermal anchors. In this case, he used magnets, but such dermal anchors can take on other forms, as well. This is the foundation for the video’s name as posted to YouTube, which is simply “iDermal.”

If you’d rather just admire the results, look at the two images above. If you’d like to see how he performed surgery on himself, enjoy the video below, but remember what we said about not watching it if your squeamish.

iDermal Video


Lee Dronick

Check out the fairlead for earbuds that he installed in his earlobe.


A magnetic personality ?


If those microdermal anchors’ magnetic holds are strong enough to keep the iPod from being flung off with normal arm swings (which I strongly doubt), I expect they will also therefore be strong enough to make them get ripped out of their skin embeddings with such normal arm swings (i.e., either his system will have a very short lifespan, or he won’t otherwise be able to use it is daily life).

In any event, I’d expect Dave Hurban will already have achieved his primary goal in subjecting himself to all this; many UTube and other website hits.  He’ll be able to imagine seeing himself with other people’s eyeballs.


Hmm… Seems like such a permanent modification for device with a lifespan presumably much shorter than his own, is rather impractical.


not permanent at all….take them out when you’re over it…just a few more tiny incisions..


Check out the fairlead for earbuds that he installed in his earlobe.

Are you a sailor also?  “Fairlead” is kind of a give-away.

Lee Dronick

I was in the Navy for over 21 years, navigation and seamanship.

We could go with calling it a grommet in his earlobe. However, when I first saw that piercing, or whatever they call a hole that big, I immediately flashed on routing earbuds through it like a mooring line through a chock. You could even take two turns around with the cord so if the buds popped out of the ear opening then they wouldn’t fall down.

Half of my adult life at sea and I never got a tattoo.


In sailing of course, fairleads can be rings (loops), small single pulleys, short tubes, or anything that leads the sheets back to the cockpit without fouling them.

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