Ask Hackaday: What Is The Future Of Implanted Electronics?

Biohacking is the new frontier. In just a few years, millions of people will have implanted RFID chips under the skin between their thumb and index finger. Already, thousands of people in Sweden have chipped themselves to make their daily lives easier. With a tiny electronic implant, Swedish rail passengers can pay their train ticket, and it goes without saying how convenient opening an RFID lock is without having to pull out your wallet.

That said, embedding RFID chips under the skin has been around for decades; my thirteen-year-old cat has had a chip since he was a kitten. Despite being around for a very, very long time, modern-day cyborgs are rare. The fact that only thousands of people are using chips on a train is a newsworthy event. There simply aren’t many people who would find the convenience of opening locks with a wave of a hand worth the effort of getting chipped.

Why hasn’t the most popular example of biohacking caught on? Why aren’t more people getting chipped? Is it because no one wants to be branded with the Mark of the Beast? Are the reasons for a dearth of biohacking more subtle? That’s what we’re here to find out, so we’re asking you: what is the future of implanted electronics?

Over the past decade, we’ve seen hundreds of builds using RFID and NFC tags. We’ve seen people use these tags to start a car and open a door. We’ve seen NFC tags placed in bio-compatable glass, and we’ve seen RFID tags constructed out of ATtinys and a spool of magnet wire. Hackers, it seems, are all over short-range, batteryless electronic tracking tags, and that doesn’t count the huge number of subway cards, contactless payment systems, or the fact that just about every phone these days can read these cards.

RFID Implants are simple, cheap, and battery-free

While embedding RFID tags under the skin delivers us this world of contactless payments, magic locks, and the ability to be tracked anywhere, we really haven’t seen many applications for embedded tags. In fact, the most interesting application of wearable RFID tags may just be putting LEDs on fingernails. Yes, for just $3 per fingernail, you too can light up whenever you pass within a few inches of a contactless card reader.

Part of the lack of public interest in wearable RFID tags may just be a shortcoming of the system itself; if you want to pay for your drinks at Starbucks, that’s one RFID tag. If you want to get on the subway, that’s another RFID tag. If you want to open the door to your office, that’s a third RFID tag. Short of carrying around a tag programmer with you around at all times — completely negating the convenience of storing your keys under your skin — we don’t yet have the technology to have one RFID implant that rules all.

There are, of course, other technologies available for implantable cyborgation, but chipping yourself with an RFID or NFC tag is by far the most popular. People aren’t really doing it, though, so we’re opening this one up to the peanut gallery. What will it take to make implantable electronics widely popular? Would you get one? If you have a chip in your hand, what do you use it for and how has that changed over time? What do you think?

137 thoughts on “Ask Hackaday: What Is The Future Of Implanted Electronics?

    1. yeah i’m just going to be ‘very rude’ about this notion. there you go.
      “oh jolly good here comes totalitarian global fascism”
      a few swedish proto neo nazis have it and pretty soon it will be
      mandatory is what you mean. i’m about to get rid of my mobile
      phone and don’t find much use for the internet anymore as it is,
      and current political trends appear to favour the biggest effin’
      saddoes ever to have avoided abortion.. so there’s my response,
      chap. :tu:

    2. Well those biblical profecies. Say indeed that the mark of the beast devil either on back of the hand or. On forehead! Self fulfilling profecies ? Hmmmmm. Just to be. On safe side I’ll recuse. Myself, but anyone else have at it.

  1. But you did hit on an important point Brian,…
    Either we’ll need multiple RFID/NFC implants, or we will need One Implant to Rule Them All (issued by Big Brother).

          1. Personally I’d prefer the world use Apple style connectors for low power portable devices. A whole lot easier to use in low light, and awkward physical positions situations. While it isn’t an original idea I give Apple thumbs up fot adopting it.

        1. That… that is not how challenge-response systems work. It’s the whole point of there being a chip in your credit card – the bank can determine that they are talking to the chip and not to someone who previously read some numbers from the chip.

          You want to do fraud with (a secure) one of these, you gotta steal it. It’s gonna hurt.

  2. I would heavily differentiate between medic implants which can safe your life or make it otherwise easier by mitigating disabilities or other negative effects of medical conditions which reduce quality of life from tracking devices. i would not call it “Mark of the Beast”, but I don’t like to be “chipped”. Very big threat to privacy for very little gain of convenience.

    1. Why would it be a threat to privacy?
      You already need a mobile phone, ID and a credit card to function in most of this modern world.
      What would be the threat if you would use the chip for ID or payments?
      A Implanted chip can as far as i know not be read from more than 10cm distance, due to the small antenna.
      So it can’t be used to track your whereabouts, if someone wanted that then your smartphone is a much better target.
      As for tracking usage of it then the same could be said for credit cards, membership cards, ID, passports and others.

          1. You can misplace or forget a phone, credit card etc.
            A chip is almost impossible to misplace or forget, unless you have a knife handy.
            It is a matter of convenience mostly.

      1. Sorry, I operate just fine in this modern world without a mobile phone or a credit card. I have yet to find a store that won’t accept cash, and I simply don’t need a cell phone.
        That leaves the ID alone, and it doesn’t have any electronic means of being read from a distance.

        1. I hear you, but it is worthy of note that automated systems are accepting cash less and less as it is easier to fake (counterfeit) than electronic payment methods. If you always interface with an actual person, you probably can get away with cash, but just inside my office cafeteria is a room that uses a fully automated checkout system that does not accept cash. These are here. Cash has become a liability.

          1. Wait until cash is outlawed. My pessimist friend reckons 20 years; I suspect a little longer (will require an intergenerational change), but it’s coming.

          2. In 2011 we had an outbreak of tornados that left many entire cities in Alabama and other states without power for at least 4 days (some longer). No ATMs. No credit card readers. If you didn’t have cash you were pretty much screwed. I will always have cash on my person and more at home. If they outlaw cash I guess I’ll have to figure out a way to put chickens in my pocket.

        2. I hear you, but it is worthy of note that automated systems are accepting cash less and less as it is easier to fake (counterfeit) than electronic payment methods. If you always interface with an actual person, you probably can get away with cash, but just inside my office cafeteria is a room that uses a fully automated checkout system that does not accept cash. These are here. Cash has become a liability.

          1. When cash becomes a liability, cash becomes a business opportunity. Someone is going to serve those customers who don’t want to used credit carts or an implant Being smart merchant they will also have the capability to accept payments via card or imp lat. Simple commerce at play.

        3. I have, unfortunately, dealt with a number of stores that won’t take cash, “legal tender for all debts, public and private” notwithstanding. The auto dealership I use (as all others of the same make within 100Km have been closed), for example. Plastic only, even for a $12 wiper blade. One of the local grocery stores is going cashless soon, and several others are going or already are cashless due to tax enforcement (if no cash is accepted, then the sales and excise tax, and sometimes income tax, is not as inviting of audit, especially in tipped industries)

          1. Technically illegal, but the government will also stop you if you use too much legal tender good for all debts. They will even confiscate if you have more than some amount ($10K at the moment?) of cash in airline carry-on.

        4. Here in sweden pretty many smaller stores have became cashless due to the amount of robberies. And the cashless idea is beginning to spread to larger grocery stores like ICA, Coop and Elgiganten that are starting to become cashless too. Even researches predict that Sweden will become completely cashless at the end of 2025 because even the state bank are planning to launch a “Electronic purse card” that will completely replace cash.

          Pretty cool anyways. And would Actually be nice if these RFID chips could contain a digital ID card that could be verified by anyone. Thus we could ditch or drivers licenses and ID cards in the dustbin, soon we just scan the hand to get identified. And if you are Selling something on craigslist and needs to identify ourselves for antifraud, we just let the other party scan our hand with an app propably.

      2. I don’t have “a compatible phone” and I don’t pay with plastic money.

        It still works. Mostly… I could’n get a PocketCHIP because they didn’t accept paying without cards… but that’s not really important to surviving… and I have enough other toys and the 100 hours day I ordered @santa years ago isn’t delivered yet…

        Having such a RFID implant reminds me of the numbers tatooed on the arm in a KZ. I can put my handy elsewhere if I want, wrap it in aluminium foil or whatever… but getting rid of that implant within a blink of an eye is impossible. And probably removing it will be forbidden as soon as everyone has one… hopefully my time on this prison planet is over before this happens!

        1. The technology we have currently is easily removable as far as I understand. It wouldn’t be possible to mandate everyone having one either, some bodies simply reject anything inserted into them.

      3. “You already need a mobile phone, ID and a credit card to function in most of this modern world.”

        All of which can be put in a RF blocking enclosure and still be carried around with you, of which an implanted chip cannot.

        This is a solution looking for a problem, one that was already solved by purses, pockets and fanny packs!

    2. It’s not a “tracking device”.

      How does an implanted NFC/RFID device differ in any way from your existing NFC-enabled credit card, your existing card for work security, or your existing card for train travel etc?

      1. “How does an implanted NFC/RFID device differ in any way from your existing NFC-enabled credit card, your existing card for work security, or your existing card for train travel etc?”

        You can not put your implant into a RF blocking enclosure/bag thus negating any security benifit from the implant. As said below, if the chips are re-programmable then they are not secure and if they are not programmable then they cannot be revoked and thus not secure.

    3. And what about Identity Theft?
      I’m sure it will happen with RFID/NFC implants as well.
      “Don’t worry, we’ll just go in, remove your existing implant and replace it with another!”

      1. Cut a small incision in a person’s hand and just pop the chip out.
        Typically parylene is not used (maybe sometimes in humans? not usually I think) so the glass won’t bond to the tissue, so you just get your scalpel and cut a tiny bit like 1/4″, then just slide it out easily.

        Or you could just steal the person’s wallet which contains all these valuable things together.
        The implant would be harder to steal than the existing wallet.

    4. Totally agree. I do not carry any form of ID in daily life and as a law abiding citizen, I fail to see why I should. Totally against ID cards, let alone RFID implants.

    5. Did you say very little gain of convenience? Get ready for this to become adopted en masse, that’s literally all people need to sell their soul and / or murder a thousand orphans. As we’ve seen again and again and again.

  3. Even if you have one chip which only handles your work security, and a different separate chip which handles your public transport fares, and a different separate chip linked to your credit card for payments, you can’t really do any of these things with the implanted chip because the banks won’t support it, the public transport operators won’t support it, your workplace won’t support it, etc. The convergence of these multiple devices into one single device is a separate technical problem.

    There are some exceptions – one or two workplaces around the world, and the Swedish train operators are notable examples. But they’re the exception, not the rule.

    Generally, these institutions expect to see only a closed system – a commercial system that they control, where they expect that system to be completely secure without any outside variables or modification by the user. They don’t want any tampering – in fact these organisations will never concede ownership of the smartcard itself to you – they will claim you’re borrowing it, and they retain ownership.

    And even if it’s technically possible, they’re likely to ignore it as just “too hard”, why would they bother supporting you, with modifications to existing processes, security concerns, integrity of the system, and support for BYO NFC devices.

    This might even be one of the very useful things blockchain could do – could you build a NFC contactless system that doesn’t have any big bank owning it?

    It’s hard to do good, practical, useful things with them.

    You can allow somebody with an Android phone to automatically connect to your WiFi at home, if they touch your hand with the phone and get the SSID/password transferred. Or you can put your contact into their phone address book, or open your website, or whatever URI you like transferred over NFC with just a touch. Or you can open “Never Gonna Give You Up” on YouTube.

    Oh, what’s that you say? Half the people have iPhones? Yeah, then you’re screwed.

    Sure, you can use your own home NFC device to unlock the door, or start the car or whatever. But that’s about it.

  4. I have considered it for years. In order for an implant to be worthwhile, for me at least, it has to simplify a complex task or a series of complex tasks while remaining secure. A good example would be opening doors (where opening the door wakes up a smart home and automatically launches a pre-programmed series of tasks, such as opening shutters and turning on lights) or unlocking computers. The problem is that implementing those security measures would limit, by design, the number of people allowed to do those task to only those willing to be chipped. As an example, opening a house door would require all members of the household and potential house guest to be chipped. Yes, an analog system could and should be installed in parallel to the RFID system but then you defeat the security portion of the deployment.

    For the general public, you would need an acceptable system that can be easily implemented and replaced while remaining compatible with current infrastructure. Debit card payments systems became the norm in the US very fast because they use existing technology (credit cards and POS systems) and socially accepted practices.

    Even then, technological advances that do not sufficiently obsolete existing solutions do not become widely accepted. See Apple pay vs plastic as an example.

    What would it take? As a mind exercise; You get up in the morning and tap your alarm clock. An RFID reader identifies you waking up and starts the coffee, gradually turns on lights, adjusts the thermostat, updates your smart mirror with the weather and morning news, lays out your clothing for the day and begins warming the water for your morning shower. You leave the house and the RFID reader locks the door, powers down all non essential electronics and orders your car to start the engine, unlock the door and pick you up by the front door. Your car verifies that it is you who entered the car and drives you to work using the pre-programmed route and google maps traffic updates. Your car drops you off at your work and continues to your assigned parking space.You get the idea.
    This would require a centrally located server farm (Google) tracking all your actions including location, purchases and habits. Mind you, Google already does all that. What is missing is the bridging interface which is currently your cell phone and the compatible hardware to be installed at your home and car.

      1. Of course. But then you sorta defeat the initial security purpose of the chip. If part of the reason to have the chip implanted vs worn is to prevent others from stealing it without removing it from you (physically or electronically) creating a guest card supporting system removes the physical security portion.

        Yes, both could be parallel to each other and use the same infrastructure while providing custom responses/access to a guest vs an owner. Of course, this whole conversation is fairly ScyFi’i. Why implant a device when you can just wear a device? An RFID ring or watch would accomplish the same.

        1. Compared to a wearable, an implant cannot be forgotten, nor fall off. As others have pointed out, an implant can still be stolen. I imagine a portion of criminals who would take a ring or watch off their victims might balk at trying to remove an implant, so there’s probably some security there.

          I’d still have no qualms about a house guest forgoing the implant. After all, if criminals really want to enter a house, they’ll simply break down the door, or come in through a window, or chainsaw a hole in a wall.

    1. If I turn off my alarm clock, it doesn’t need an RFID tag to identify me. It’s my alarm clock, next to my side of the bed, so it’s me turning it off.
      Now explain how an RFID reader lays out my clothes?! That’s nothing to do with RFID.

      1. Really? Sigh….. Remember the “simplify a complex task or a series of complex tasks” statement at the beginning of my post?
        An RFID tag doesn’t “do” anything other than trigger other mechanisms to perform a pre-programmed task. An RFID tag in a badge, as an example, doesn’t actually unlock the door; it signals a microprocessor to close a relay which sends an electric signal (or shuts an existing electric current) to a mechanism which unlocks the door.

        So, let’s look at the scenario again. The RFID is read when you turn off your alarm clock and this action triggers the room shutters to open, the coffee machine to turn on, etc, etc. As to how it would lay out your clothes? Well, how about having your clothes pre-organized by a predetermined schedule and loaded in bins or bags after doing the laundry. These pre-organized bins would be selected by an autonomous device (a conveyor belt, a carousel, a remote controlled cart built into the bin) to move from their storage location to your dressing area. That would be one way. The actual mechanism is actually unimportant to the brain exercise. The important part is imagining what complex tasks could be automated and customized to fit your needs of that moment for efficiency.

          1. Purpose of exercise is for the student to propose the how.
            So, I’ll go first.

            A couple in bed. Husband turns off alarm. Coffee, curtains and water heater functions are triggered. Water is heated to HIS preferred temperature. HIS email is displayed on smart mirror. HIS clothes are delivered via bot basket and conveyor track to dressing area. RFID sensor on door frame detects him entering the kitchen. His prepackaged lunch is delivered to the counter from refrigeration unit. RFID sensor detects his entering hallway. His car is started and self drives to the front door. Meanwhile, wife is taking a shower at her preferred temperature. She completes morning preparations and leaves house. House detects non of the residents are now present. It sends a shopping order to local grocer to replace expenditures and shuts down all non-essential functions. Etc etc etc.

  5. Nope, nope, nope. Just nope.
    Even as a person with nerve damage in my hands I find that reaching for my wallet and digging out the appropriate item is still convenient enough that I wouldn’t even consider this.

    I have a reasonable understanding of how radio waves propagate and don’t for a second believe this nonsense of RFID having a tiny distance limit. Using a directional antenna would certainly overcome this. Since I have experience receiving 1 Watt signals from 12,000 miles away, you can’t convince me for a second that several microwatts of RF energy just magically stops 3 feet from the RFID device transmitting it.

    I’ll be perfectly happy living the rest of my life without anything of this sort implanted into my body.

    1. After watching the BH video of the guy with the brief case and A RFID coil from a garage carpark wall using 2 12v SLAs to power it and a module with a USB to capture everything it reads. RFID Bluetooth nope no thanks even WIFI is susceptible to all kinds of subterfuge.

    2. The reason it works short distance is also that it gets power from the transmitting device.
      The range is more than 3 feet though, standard manufacturing info says 10 meters or something.
      But of course telling people 3 feet is handy since you can track them across large entrance ways and crossings and they are none the wiser..

    1. Or simply clone it with a reader, as mifare 1k are cloned easily right now.
      It’s only a matter of time for a widely distributed system to be hacked in depth.

  6. So the rest of the world can be like Africa where the theft of a watch is a random with a Machete taking an entire arm for a shiny $50 watch … This week in Future news: 14 people today lost arms and legs during a mugging for implants stealing millions in crypto currency according to the amputees, Prosthetics manufactures and back yard 3D printing shops claim business is booming.

      1. Here in the U.K., theft gets a small sentence, but GBH gets a significant one, so smart career criminals avoid assaulting people – and typically avoid their victims altogether, preferring to burgle when you’re out.
        Something about US law must make it worthwhile having a shoot-out with the police if they stop you for anything. That seems stupid.
        Of course, there’s still idiots and gangs.

  7. I wouldn’t necessarily be interested in some sort of an ID chip. I’d more like to have an embedded eink watch. Especially if it’s bio-powered so there’s no battery to change. It could have time, calendar, maybe calculator functions. Some health functions would be cool too, heart rate, o2 levels, blood sugar monitor, things like that. If there’s enough power/space then some sort of simple GPS functionality without maps or at least a digital compass. No connectivity and nothing to update or crash.

    1. P.S.
      Yes I know about phones (your own and the ones from people you know incidentally) and all the cameras and massive facial recognition (thanks Amazon…) and voice recognition and ISP/Cell operator cookies (if in a country that allows such, like the US) and drones and satellite.

  8. Reality is, it would need to be able to hold a large asymmetric key. Then, consumer systems would have to allow you to register your key. The trouble with registering your key becomes a balance of convenience vs security.

    The chip would also have to be reprogrammable, in case your key *IS* stolen. You say its unlikely because you have to be close. Well how about a spouse right after they decide they want a divorce. How about a one night stand? How about a new form of pickpocketing? They get close to your pockets with their hands, now they just have to get close to your hands. Which of course brings us back to registerring your key. Its pretty clear you’ll need some other form of identification to register, so the chip didn’t even manage to replace other forms of id. Now what happens when you register your key with your tesla, but you move far away from a tesla store? Now you have to show up to a tesla store to reprogram your key, talk about a pain!

    I think the solution will be an id broker. Someone already jumped to big brother, but why does it need to be that way? Did we need big brother to start Visa/Mastercard/AmEx/Discover? Did we need big brother to make interchangeable payment terminals? The reality is, banks would be a great place to leverage an ID system. Not only does it help their security, payment is one primary use for these chips. They also already have a ton of ways to verify your identity. So someone needs to make an ID system they sell to the banks that can program these chips, after id verification, and allow third party registrations into the system. So, in my tesla example, the company providing the ID system would sell their services to tesla and the banks. Banks would receive a discount for providing id verification. You register your tesla by going to the bank and adding your tesla to your account, then updating the tesla over the air, or have a programmer for things that don’t update over the air.

    I personally still wouldn’t want it implanted, but I could see something being sewn into clothing, backup plastic cards, etc.

    1. I would count banks and CC companies as part of Big Brother.
      And you should too.

      Incidentally in some countries the government actually want to supply a key for general use with ID’s in the future, baked into your RFID ID card/Passport. And supposedly with various protections for privacy. But even if genuinely well meant, the Governments are notoriously stupid with such things so I have little faith.

  9. I am looking at my work issue security badge which has an RFID in the badge and 2 more stuck to the back, that’s 3 just to move around 1 freaking building (then I have another badge for another location)

    so no I am not putting a grain of rice in my hand for umpteen billion services

  10. As we get closer and closer to the advent of quantum computing, we should be making fewer and fewer long term investments in the current cipher suites. And I’d posit that installing something in your body is a relatively large investment.

    1. Good question. The chip usually only has to relay its serial number. What the receiver does with that serial number is up to the system. It could open a door, deduct money, start a car. The point is that the system recognizes your unique identity.
      Some folks are working on implants which also integrate security computation so the system is certain you are who you say you are. Any highly secure system wouldn’t rely on RFID alone, and no one should. It is just another layer of protection. I use my implant to log into my work computer after I type a short string on my keyboard.

      1. No. Anything based on just reading out a chip ID is completely insecure. Similarly you can buy NTAG devices (e.g. in stickers or the NFC Ring) which store a little bit of data, but again, completely insecure because they’re trivially cloneable.

        VISA is a pretty secure system and it works via NFC chips alone. Building security at a whole bunch of military installations works via NFC chips alone. Public transport billing in much of the world works via NFC chips alone.

        Look at protocols like DESFIRE, and what happens with VISA chip+pin cards. The chip is actually a CPU with EEPROM containing a few keys. The chip does not share the key, it uses the key to respond to a challenge message in a unique way that proves its knows the key, and therefore verify its identity. You can determine that whoever generated the response held the key, but you cannot derive the key from the response, so the chips are not cloneable via their communication interfaces.

        Widespread deployment won’t happen until there are implantables supporting something like DESFIRE instead of NTAG-data, and I suspect are really only viable if the chips are going to support multiple “applications”, i.e. bank, public transport, access control, etc.

        Guess what? The protocols for doing that are standardised in ISO14443A, the chips are already on the market and available in cards for about $1 each. The hurdles are not technical but organisational: convincing all of the different institutions to share space on a single card. All it’ll take is for a large organisation to roll out a card and permit third-party applications on it.

  11. Not a recommendation but for people who want to try some of this out without the implant Jakcom is the company that makes the led fingernail that Brian linked to and they also make a ring that has a nxp mcu and antennas in it so it can be used with rfid and nfc. Reviews are kinda iffy but at $20 I’ll probably include one with my next Chinese delivery order.

      1. I’m making something similar myself in an implant form. I plan on using long-range RFID tags. Security sense says that this is way too vulnerable to have all the time but adding a switch should keep people from reading it without my knowledge. Plus, the long-range version includes a “kill” command which bricks the chip and I don’t want some jerk making my implant a worthless hunk of silicon and plastic.

        1. Good idea that will be interesting to see when your done. Will it be a pressure switch of some sort or more of a reed switch with a magnet in a finger tip to activate?

          1. I can go the finger magnet route. I also like the idea of using a switch so it doesn’t require another implant. I already own the materials, once I get a system working, I’ll probably see a few tags into some shirt sleeves. I will wear them for a week or long enough to determine what is the most useful.

          2. Nice idea.
            Don’t like the ‘reed’ switch idea. No feedback (to the wearer) when it is activated. Could be ‘pickpocketed’.
            Like the pressure switch : you know if someone pressed their finger against yours (except when you are asleep or unconscious that is)…

  12. For me personally, I can’t imagine a scenario where I would want such an implant.

    If the RFID tag can be easily reprogrammed by end-users, it is not secure, as it can be cloned.
    On the other hand, if it cannot be easily re-programmed by end-users, then it is a non-revokable credential, subject to theft by amputation.

    The best use cases seem to be what we have already seen: The rapid, cost-effective identification of nominal value commodities, or toy/hobby/cosplay uses.

    1. It’s depend. Secure rfid are easily reprogramable, but often not clonable as you can’t extract programmed keys.
      Some are clonable (mifare 1k) as they used master keys and protocol that were hacked.
      Security is always a lost game, the only question is how fast can you lose it.

  13. It’s still a ways off. I’ll be interested once they can implement good public-key crypto. Any half-hearted crypto is not worth implanting. I’ll accept the development steps in the form of an external key fob.

    It would also be interesting to see reprogrammable chips with a physical lockout. Like how EPROM can be wiped with UV, perhaps the implant’s private key could be write-only and reprogrammed by blasting light through translcent skin.

    1. Write only? You mean it can be written to, but only read by the internal chip and never transmitted in the clear? But then… hack the firmware in the chip, and now you can transmit it in the clear…

  14. Why do we need anything but fingerprints? Possible to fake but already available. And you avoid the whole 666 / surgery/”I don’t want to be a cyborg” issues.

  15. The main problem is that no one trust their applications to live on third-party devices. Visa created a standard called OpenPlatform (now known as GlobalPlatform) which lets you load multiple “applications” onto a single smart card. If I could have an NFC implant that I could load a transit app, EMV credit card app, building access control app, and any other custom app I want, I might consider it. The problem is that no one gives you the card management keys to load apps onto a card, and no one provides apps that can be loaded onto third-party cards. If these trust issues could be resolved (perhaps through some sort of remote attestation), I could see this eventually happening.

  16. Seems short sighted.
    OK so it works today but what if it fials and you need to remove it? Or it’s compromised, or new technology comes out. Or you need another system and they are incompatible and so on so on.

  17. I love the idea, but (having had some metal put in my wrist, along with about an ounce of human bone powder as a regrowth medium) I find myself extremely unwilling to opt into any device plan where the upgrade path involves surgery. I imagine increasingly smaller wearables (something like a Pebble would be ideal) with, perhaps, some eventual temporary tattoo with embedded circuitry being more viable.

  18. I thought about RFID implant 3 or 4 years ago and went to read what I could on it. I changed my mind after reading some study and paper on the subject. Turn out that many rodents who were implanted with RFID chip and monitored for extended time had some tumor growing in the region where the RFID implant was installed. Now, I know that dogs and cats has been fitted with the same kind of implants for years without anything bad happening, but maybe it is because those chips fitted in pets are rarely, if ever, scanned/powered? Considering the only instance where it would be required to do so is if the pets is lost and scanned for the owners information, I feel it could be a contributing factor to RFID capsule not causing pets problem but giving tumor/cancer to test rats/mouses…

    In any case, the percentage of rodents fitted with RFID implant who ended with tumors was high enough to put me off that kind of technology for the time being.

    You can read a bit about it, here is what I quickly found about it that are not news post article:

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4203/dd804b853435ce66236d0dfb796e2e013387.pdf
    https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5514622/

    1. cancer is growing cuz of our poor ecology, chemicals in food, and overall state of an environment. imagine how many times more powerful a regular cellphone near your ear could be? and we use that much more often than anyone would use RFID chip. if it was true we all would had brain tumors from wifi and cell phones.

      1. Well, its better for peoples to make informed decision. I’m not a fan of “if this was true than this other thing would be doing that thing so it must not be true” type of thinking. If there was study and science proving that cellphone use would make tumor grow in my temple, I would try preventing it by using earphones more often. Is there any by the way? Interested in learnings about them if there are. Personally, the risks were out-weighting the gain in that particular situation. It’s true many things give cancer nowadays, it doesn’t mean I need one more thing just for the novelty of opening my front door with my hand. Fortunately, I hardly ever use my cellphone to make call and prefer texting and e-mailing so I like to think it kinda mitigate the risk a little.

  19. ‘mark of the beast’
    yeah.. aging and death are also perfectly normal things and should not be avoided.. imagine how barbaric and irrational all of this would be in 300 years from now… people are afraid of change, nothing new.

  20. People will get it if they can’t buy food without it, but don’t do it, it means worship of the Antichrist and eternity in the Lake of Fire. Lord, give me courage if the Rapture doesn’t come first.

  21. The Bible speaks about the 666 people and these are they who have been marked so that they can buy and sell. This chip in the hand is reversible and it is not the mark that people will get that damns them to Hell, rather it is a step in that direction.

    This 666 mark on the forehead or the hand will indicate this person has a brain chip and have lost their ability to come close to God, they have become so carnal that they are nothing but internet controllable cyborg animals.

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