Hacking Myself

Technology can be an awesome tool and seems to be integrating into our society at an increasing rate. I find myself excited at the possibilities of new technologies and what can be achieved with them. I am especially fascinated with wireless technology. Unseen energy being utilized to accomplish various tasks – technology like WiFi, Bluetooth, RFID and NFC. It’s like magic to me.

Our makerspace uses RFID tags to gain access to the building-you scan a tag, enter a pin number which authenticates back to a server, which then powers a relay and unlocks the door. This system is great because RFID tags are cheaper than making keys for everyone and also gives us accountability for who entered at what day/time. One day I clumsily locked my keys inside the building and I needed “rescuing”. I vowed that this would never happen again! I remembered that one of our other members had taken what some would say extreme measures and had an RFID chip implanted into his hand! I had always been fascinated by this, almost like a magic trick–he would scan his hand, enter his pin and the door would open! No more losing tags/keys! The tags are in a glass tube about the size of a grain of rice (see picture below)


And so I decided to take this a step further-I would get an RFID tag implanted in one hand and an NFC tag implanted in the other hand. The RFID tag was cheap, like $10. This tag is non-programmable and contains a unique identification number. I had the number entered into our entry system and this is the tag I use to gain access to the door of the makerspace. It is in my right hand, so I “scan” my right hand and then enter a pin and voila, the makerspace door opens.

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I had to drive to New York City to get my implants “installed” by a body jewelry specialist.

The chip in my left hand is nfc, or near field communication. This chip is programmable with my phone and cost around $99 (https://dangerousthings.com/shop/xnti/). I downloaded nfc tools app for my phone and also dangerousthings had an app I used first to scan my tag and program it to protect against accidental locking (locking would make it non programmable). https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dangerousthings.nfc&hl=en

I have added my chip to trusted devices so I can unlock my phone by scanning my tag (tapping my phone to the back of my hand). I used nfc tools app to program my chip to carry my “vcard”-this is like a virtual business contact card, so if you have nfc turned on your phone, you can tap your phone on my hand and get my contact information (name,phone number, email, etc) without typing anything! Unfortunately this will not work if you have an iphone since iphone has nfc closed down for only ipay. I also created a profile to load to my chip that places a link to my resume-so if you scan my tag it prompts you to download my resume from my website! So cool-I’d hire me!

I added another profile to save my In-Case-of-Emergency information (name, allergies, blood type, emergency contact). I can see how this would be beneficial but only if emergency personnel know about the implant. I have thought about getting some sort of tattoo to indicate the implant’s presence (if you have any ideas, let me know).

I sort of feel like a spy! I am excited to see the future of implantable technology and can’t wait for the day when I can pay for coffee with my hand!