Piercing insight: Man wears future on his wrist

Dave Hurban's renewal: A Nano, magnetically implanted. (Photo: Paul Kensey)
Dave Hurban's renewal: A Nano, magnetically implanted. (Photo: Paul Kensey)
Posted: May 16, 2012

Someday, when Earth is a barren wasteland of robots gone rogue and Lady Gaga is queen of our moon colony, humanity will look back and wonder what the hell happened.

When did technology go too far? Was it the Flowbee that pushed the edge? Did George Lucas invent some 5-D laser beam that replaced our memories with “Star Wars”? Or was it the guy from Gloucester County, N.J., who punched a few holes in his wrist last month and inserted some magnets so that he could hold his iPod Nano without some ugly-looking strap getting in the way?

Yes, Earth, Dave Hurban did that to himself and it worked, and he has sharp metal objects and more elaborate plans in the works.

“It is literally the beginning of cyborgs,” Hurban, 21, said Monday morning. “People already use prosthetic legs to help them run faster.”

Hurban, a Williamstown resident, is a body piercer at Dynasty Tattoo, in Newfield, Gloucester County. He pierced his own lip for a girl when he was 13, and got his first tattoo at 18. It’s of a great white shark getting stabbed in the face by a narwhal. The narwhal, Hurban elaborated, is thinking about ice cream during this fantastical oceanic encounter.

Then, on April 19, there was iDermal, which involved putting four small-but-powerful micro-dermal magnets into the skin by his wrist. And just like that, Hurban has a strapless Nano, and the world will never be the same.

Hurban’s iDermal video is nearing 1 million hits on YouTube (beware, it’s a little bloody), and he was traveling to New York City on Monday to be filmed for an Australian morning news show. The Nano hasn’t budged.

“I show people and they are literally amazed,” he said. “There are people acting like I just turned water into wine.”

Hurban said he has other ideas, dermal designs he doesn’t want to divulge yet, but mentioned ears and agreed with the Daily News that a dermal Bluetooth device would do well.

“It’s going to take something you do every day and make it easier,” he said of a dermal future.

There’s an Association of Professional Piercers out there, though, and the group isn’t happy that iDermal is such a Web hit. Hurban used a tool called a dermal punch, the APP said, and it’s illegal in New Jersey.

The group also said that Hurban attached a foreign object — the Nano — to a fresh piercing and that it’s not sanitary.

Hurban isn’t a member of the APP and claims that he didn’t do anything illegal. He said that any backlash is “high school” jealousy.

“My entire life, I’ve thought outside the box,” he said. “The future is unlimited.” n

Contact Jason Nark at 215-854-5916 or narkj@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @jasonnark.

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