An RFID Ring For The Body Mod Squeamish

Some people get inked, while others get henna or those water transfer tattoos you might find in a box of Cracker Jack. [Becky] wanted the benefits of having an RFID tag in her finger — unlock doors or log into your computer with a swipe of your finger — but wasn’t ready to get an implant. Her solution: make an artistic ring that conceals a tiny glass capsule RFID tag.

Besides not having to shove some tech under your epidermis, there are a few other advantages: you can change out tags as easy as changing rings, for one. You can also easily loan your ring to someone just as you might give them keys to your door.

The ring is something close to two rings connected by slender pillars. Two of the three pillars are metal, but the third is the RFID tag. We wondered whether the tag and the pillars could take some sort of enamel that would conceal its look but not interfere with operation.

[Becky] is quite the artisan and even has a free online jewelry class over on Instructables. We were also impressed with her compact and tidy workspace that you can see in the video below.

This isn’t the first RFID ring we’ve seen, but it is a nice looking one. On the other hand, you can also sacrifice a credit card, but that has its own problems.

27 thoughts on “An RFID Ring For The Body Mod Squeamish

  1. Fun project, simple but effective.

    Though from a technical point of view, I really wonder how the whole construction of the ring interferes with the field strength picked up by the tag itself. Because the tag is sensing a field that is also also shorted by several loops antennas formed by the ring itself. Not only the top and bottom are a loop that short the field, the pilars in combination with part of the top/bottom ring also form a loop. These individual loops are almost perpendicular to each other, so if one loop doesn’t short the filed the other ones does.

    Now nothing is perfect so the shorted fields aren’t fully shorted. So I’m sure it isn’t all that critical, because it it was, then the project was a failure and didn’t work at all (and we would not have seen the video). Though I wonder if it has a significant effect on the sensing range. If it does and needs to be solved, then the solution is simple, cut each possible electrical loop.

    1. Would the loops not help? Since the RFID chips is powered by the field from the reader, if the loop resonates at anything like the operating frequency, then it should amplify the field around the chip. I suspect this is not the case, and the loops have no or little effect. These rings obviously work. My RF theory is very rusty (over 20 years since I had to use it!) and I can’t tell off the top of my head whether the size of the rings is anything like the right size to effect anything.

      1. There’s a lot of turns of wire on a ferrite rod in there, and even then it probable needs capacitance to oscillate at the RFID frequency. The ring is never going to be resonant near that, or be able to pull in field lines like a ferrite rod “antennna”.

  2. If the ring can attenuate the signal enough, could that allow the ring’s tag to work only in close proximity to a reader, in turn preventing reading it from scanning/harvesting distances?

  3. So whoever wears this ring grabs something with some sharper corners, breaks the glass of the RFID assembly, instant glass shards into the fingers. You cant even take it off without cutting your finger. What a great idea!

    1. Indeed, a sovereign type ring which allows a wide flat area to the ‘top’ of the ring would possibly be large enough to enclose the tag within, but isn’t the point of the glass capsule because you want to implant it into your body, can you do away with the glass if you’re not putting it internally?

      1. Lol. I’m betting the above person is a biohacker. The thought process is comparitive. Under the skin, we knows its very unlikely to break. On a ring, there’s higher risk. So I agree that if you’re talking about optimal usage and efficacy.. sure, implanting may make a tad more sense. But there’s tons of delicate jewelry with glass or stones.. I don’t think this is an especially great hazard. I run a lab where I’m putting in RFID controlled doors. What about when you have visitors? A ring when set allowances makes a lot of sense. And it’s pretty.

    2. Those tags have to be and are demonstrably stupidly hard to break, I’d think you would have smashed your fingers to bits aided by the solid ring before it breaks (assuming you are using properly made tags, not dubious cheapo ones from some stranger on the web).

    3. Is it a waterproof,,,,,, what are its benifits if i already had that ring,,,,
      I was really interested in that ring,,,,,
      I wish i could get a responce,,,,
      Thanks so much,,,,
      Respectfully yours,,,,
      Maria Josefa Dangwa Chua

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