Start The Car With A Wave Of Your Hand

[Jair2K4] likes his RFID almost as much as he likes his chaw. Ever since his car was stolen he’s had to start it using a screwdriver. Obviously this is not a good way to leave things so he decided to convert his starter to read an RFID tag. He installed an RFID transponder he picked up on eBay, wiring it to the ignition switch. He’s removed the clutch-check sensor and wired a rocker switch to enable the RFID reader. We presume the rocker switch will eventually be used to shut the car off as well.

While most would have purchased a key-chain RFID tag, [Jair2k4] went far beyond that and had the tag implanted in his hand. This is an honor usually reserved for pets and until he adds RFID functionality to the door locks maybe a key fob would have been a better answer. But, to each his own. See his short demonstration video after the break.

74 thoughts on “Start The Car With A Wave Of Your Hand

  1. You are saying using implants NOT approved is the safe and sensible thing?
    And yeah I understand your anger because I expressed myself so explicitly and understandably you need to dismiss me right back, but at least you acknowledged the cancer risk thing in some circumstances, that’s pretty damn decent of your, I appreciate it.
    The reason why I think it’s insane is that you reduce yourself to become an extension of a gadget, and walk around with a identifier that’s readable from a distance, but that last one is more a personal feeling since everybody seems very happy to walk around with cellphones and have them have GPS location awareness and personal identifiers and such, and I’m not.

    As for the comparison with pacemakers, yeah if you get a pacemaker without needing it you would be insane, same for a hip implant, and I think that even those needing it are not exactly thrilled with the thought of having those, I don’t see people jumping up and down saying ‘well I might have a heart condition but at least I get a nice pacemaker, yay’

    As for government conspiracies, well I’m not on board as much as those I’d call nutty, but I did have disagreements with certain types of republicans who deny even things the government publicly admitted, for instance there WERE (and probably still are) secret prisons after all, normally anybody claiming that might be dismissed as nutty but after it’s been confirmed they should stop, and the NSA with help from AT&T DID listen in on half the US population, it’s documented, and the FBI did admit they have sneaked in hacked firmware in suspect cellphones that allowed them to turn on the microphone while the set seemed off.
    And if you list only a few of those confirmed occurrences any sensible person will conclude to be a bit suspicious towards trusting the government and its agencies.

  2. Without getting into the government stuff, a couple things I want to clarify about the tags.

    1) I was basically the first guy to put a non-VeriChip (the only FDA approved chip for humans) in my left hand. As such, I spent about 2 weeks researching and calling manufacturers to confirm the glass used to encase the tag and antenna was the same used in the VeriChip and the pet tags that have been used for years. The only differences between one of those tags and the kind I have are A) there is no anti-migration coating on mine, and B) the data protocol is different.

    2) The government has nothing to do with the tags DIYers are using (another good reason to go “off grid” with non-approved tags). There have been connections with immigrant worker programs and the military with regard to VeriChip (the only FDA approved human implant), however for that reason (and several others) DIYers don’t want a VeriChip.

    I don’t see it as “reducing myself”, I see it as enhancing myself. Gadgets bend to my will, not the other way around. This tag is only used with my own personal projects… things I create/hack/make.

    It cannot be read from a distance, and it is definitely not a GPS. You cannot triangulate it’s location, it does not transmit unless held within inches of a reader which generates a magnetic field to power the tag, it just doesn’t act anything like a GPS.

    I chose to use this technology in my daily life, and the manner in which I chose to use it is no more disturbing or physically dangerous than an ear or tongue piercing, or a dermal implant if you’re into the body mod scene. Ironically, I would never have either of those things done to my body as there is no functional aspect, only aesthetic… which I wouldn’t bother with.

    Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is, learn a little bit more about the technology, what it’s capable of and what it’s not, and if you have any serious questions about it you can post to the RFID forum at and I and/or others will respectfully reply.

  3. I don’t want to pee in your cherios or anything… but good luck with the RFID chip. I like my gadgets… you know… outside of my body.

    You’ve got to ask yourself: Why is there so much hype by government and military for such things? It’s not because they want to give you an easier way to turn on your car… that’s for sure.

    How do you think tech-startups get funding? The implant that you just put into yourself will probably happen to receive some sort of “contract” magically in the next few years so that your government can track what you’re up to… if you’re into that sort of thing, that is.

    How could ANY sort of RFID implant be considered “off the grid?” Nah. I’ll just take the extra strenght (I know… it’s so hard) to turn on my freaking car manually.

    Not to mention – RFID implants have been known to cause cancer (and yes, we’re talking–including your glorious VeriChip).

    I love gadgets and all, but when it turns into a potential for Big Brother, I draw the line. I thought books like 1984 were pretty much standard issue for geeks. *shrugs*

  4. Whatnot: You’re on the right track. If you do much research on the subject of implantable RFID chips, you’ll find pretty frightening stuff. As I said, tech startups have to get funding from somewhere. Gee, I wonder who might have a vested interest in funding the development of the RFID chip market. . .

    I totally agree with you. Why would any sane person implant something into themselves if their life didn’t depend on it? I’ve read all about this “transhumanist” crock. Some people watch too much Star Trek.

    It’s kind of like getting a big New Kids on the Block tattoo on your forehead, “it seemed like a good idea at the time”. How about in 10 years?

  5. Chris: How do you know they’re safe? They’re not a long standing technology. They’re safe because… they’re aproved by the FDA? The same FDA that approves deadly poisons all the time if the manufacturer has a nice little bribe for them?

    Wireless devices aren’t even all that safe… but implanting one inside you?

    The lunacy astounds. This isn’t a Sci-Fi novel where the world is run by peaceful utopian beings. . . isn’t that obvious?

  6. wtf? “so that your government can track what you’re up to” ? How? Obviously you guys know nothing about how this tech works and what it is and isn’t capable of. Besides, blaming the technology for abuses by people is backward. Just because “the government” drives cars and trucks and uses guns to kill people doens’t mean we should condemn cars, trucks, and guns. Technology can be used for many things both benign and corrupt. I tend to think my use of the technology within the parameters of my own personal projects is fairly benign. Since the tag I have has an effective range of just 2 inches, I’m sure if “the goverment” wanted to find me they would much rather just ask my mobile phone carrier where I’m at… as so many governments around the world are doing these days.

    “How do you know they’re safe? They’re not a long standing technology.” – What do you call 20+ years of implantation in pets with no side effects? We’ve already touched on the cancer issue, however if you look at the actual research and not reporter conjecture, two things become clear: 1) cancerous cells, not tumors, were found surrounding implant sites in very very old rodents who were dying of old age anyway. 2) none of the rodents where these cells were found actually died from carcinomas… they all died of more mundane things.

    “The lunacy astounds.” – The only lunacy going on here is people namelessly commenting about things they obviously don’t understand, and yet refuse to learn about. It’s just more of this:

  7. Good luck. I hope you enjoy your implant. We’ll see in 5 – 10 years if you have the same oppinion (no doubt, by that time you’ll be under some sort of cancer treatment… but don’t let that stop you)

    ENJOY! :D

  8. Food for thought: A car, or gun is not implanted inside of your body, and a car or gun can not track you.

    Hmmmmmmm. You DO know RFID is very easy to hack as well, right? This is even asuming that there’s no other issue with the thing.

  9. More food for thought; I’ve had my implant for 4.9 years and so far so good. Also, FYI, my implant cannot track me either.

    Finally, I’m not too worried that someone will go through the trouble to hang around with a reader sitting 2 inches from my hand for at least a few minutes just to hack my 40bit encrypted HITAG S 2048 with additional rotating 255 byte security key when they could simply break my car window or kick in my door. Again, these are personal use projects, not access to my friggen bank account.

    If you’re really interested in the security risks with regard to personal use vs business use contexts, watch my Seattle DorkBot talk:

  10. I would be a lot more concerned about the danger of fillings in teeth. Also, thinking you could be tracked is pretty ignorant. It’s similar to people losing their shit when TVs first came out thinking the broadcasting companies were watching them in their livingrooms. The lunacy astounds is right…

    That said, still don’t like the idea of tags under my skin. I would surely fry the thing within a year. I could envision a lot of debris floating around under my skin in short order if I always wanted a working tag.

  11. Heh I can’t blame you for just being creeped out by having it in your body.

    Just yesterday though I was picking up mail at the post office and the guy behind the counter asked “I heard you have some kind of chip in your arm or something?”, so I had to show him. The next question was “so can’t they track you?”… I am still dumbfounded by this question when people ask me it. I asked him “Who are these ‘they’ people you speak of?” and he basically said “well, the government I guess”

    Where do people come up with this stuff?! Honestly? Is the idea that the government has all seeing powers so ingrained that it is now the defacto coat-hook to hand all unwarranted fears on? Anyway, I just said “No, it has a read range of only 2 inches, and as a government employee you should know they can barely get their act together when it comes to tracking packages… let alone people.”

    PS, after hopping through a lot of dentists, I finally had all my amalgam fillings rooted out and replaced with composite. Quarrels with dentists are nothing new for me though;

  12. “another thing implanted”? “easy to steal”?

    I wish people would take more time to expand a bit on what they are trying to say. I have no idea what that means or if they were ranting or agreeing or what was going on. Posting short spurts of fragmented crap just makes me assume you are an idiot and I ignore your post entirely.

  13. These setups would be more functional if they just limited the ability to start, as opposed to being used to start the vehicle. EG, having the key and also requiring the tag for security reasons. No one item works alone, and the RFID should have a bypass that is hidden.

    Having the sensor in a less obscure location would add to security. That way the thieves never even know it is a requirement. EG, hiding it in the seat-belt strap or within the side of the seat. You can casually activate it without drawing attention to your actions. A simple flashing LED would indicate success or failure.

    For real security, demand both RFID’s in a specific order and with a specific time between RFID sensing. Having a programmable version allows you to create your own security. You are not limited to the restrictions of the read-only ID tag. The more non-standard and “corrupt” you can make the tag, the more secure it is. Clone tools throw-out junk tags.

    RFID need a reed-switch inside the tag. That way it never broadcasts until you want it to broadcast. Just place it within range of a magnet.

    Smart tags will have rolling encryption similar to car alarms. Multi-frequency and certificate authorities like the internet, before broadcasting info. These low-tech RFID’s are only good for what they were made for… Quick identification. Security should not be reduced because an unconfirmed device says, “Bob is here”. There are thousands of “Bobs”. Ok, you are Bob, so prove it by inserting your key and entering a PIN, so I know if this is Bob Smith or Bob Marley.

    Cool toy, all the same. Getting one soon.

    BTW, nothing is “completely safe” for surgical implanting. There is a lot of news around the malignant cancerous tumors caused by many of these devices. (Though I believe that is only the ones which have the bonding-agent that the FDA apparently “blindly” approved for human use. And the ones from china with high led content in the glass. EG, not bio-glass. Intended for use only in liquids and external devices.)

    Just be careful and get checked for medical issues. (The issue with MRI is simply that the RFID interferes with the image. It shows a solid black halo, blocking the ability to “see” what is actually there. Nothing harmful, unless you need to “See” that there is cancerous cells growing off the RFID glass.)

  14. Just wanted to update everyone thinking im going to have cancer or be tracked by the government.

    After 6 months, my implant is the same as the day it was put in. No cancer, no rejection.

    Although, I have had a guy in a black suit calling me ‘Mr. Anderson’ following me around with a backpack and some sort of scanning device though.. every time he gets close enough to read my tag…. about 2 inches from my hand, I slap his hand away and say ‘NO! that’s a bad bad government agent! Next time I’m going to use a squirt bottle… or a rolled up newspaper…. :P

  15. I find it amazing how many people here are criticizing this guy. Why? Don’t want to an implanted RFID chip? Don’t get one? Don’t want you swipe your hand on your car to start – don’t do it. This is “Hack a Day” not “Do this today or you will be shot”. You may not like the idea, but you must admit the implementation is cool!

    @jair2k4: keep it up!

  16. I had an RFID chip implanted about 3 years ago, and I love having it. I check out rentable bicycles with it, and used it for building access at my old job. I do get the dumbest comments from people though. I had one woman approach me to let me know that I had the mark of the beast and that I was going to hell. Talk about a unique feature for a fairly straightforward device. Also, I hear what Amal’s talking about plenty too. It’s like someone has gone out into the world and insisted that every human who hears about RFID chips implanted in a person is required by law to respond with the phrase “So now the government can track you?!”. The lack of originality or critical thinking by these people is staggering. I just wish they didn’t have that smug look of “Ain’t I so clever!” whenever they comment on it.

  17. Life’s a set of evaluations to be made before every “Informed Choice” we make. We’re as I keep saying.. HACKERS and, it’s in our nature to see different risk/reward logic than non-Hacker folk.

    It’s often that simple. We can evaluate risk-to-reward-ratios, and choose accordingly?

    Or we can flail between Luddite FUD and Ubergeek Fanboi literal BLEEDING edge stunts. All too frequently, it’s with less than well evaluated “Reasons” for either extreme.

    I’d rate the overall OP hack as Excellent. And they **DID** the research before implanting a chip. Considering the wisdom of a car key that’s harder to lose as opposed to say, Piercing some body parts that IMHO should never be pierced? This is a rather boring risk level.

    Hack well done.

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