Would you implant an NFC chip into your hand?

NFC chip hand implant
By Simon Sage on 7 May 2014 06:18 pm
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Game developer Zoe Quinn recently implanted an NFC chip in the space between her thumb and index finger. Appropriately enough, she's since programmed the chip to send a link to her Humble Bundle page for Deus Ex, a popular shooter game about cyborgs. So, if you bump into her, you can tap your phone against the base of her thumb and get a free video game about human/robot hybrids. Here's a video of the operation, which starts at about the four-minute mark. It's not for the squeamish, and it certainly doesn't help that she had to inject it herself with a giant needle.

This isn't Zoe's first stop on the road to cyborgdom either. She's already implanted a tiny magnet in the tip of her finger, enabling her to feel nearby magnetic fields of all sorts. That's notably less practical than an NFC chip, but certainly an interesting exploration in our relationship with machines. Apparently both are too small to screw with airport security, MRIs, or debit cards. The two implants also don't interfere with one another. As for the pain level of getting the implant, Zoe says it barely hurt compared to the magnet.

The NFC chip in question is an NXP NTAG216 which offers 888 bytes of data transmission; easily enough to issue commands and share links on smartphones, though she's still exploring the possibilities. For the immediate future, she aims to make a game that plays with her implant. Here's a quick look at what she can do now.

Zoe's got a background in body modification, realized this whole thing was crazy, and went ahead and did it anyway. When asked if other should try this, she says "DON'T BE CRAZY. ... I am a dumb, dumb person." The funny thing is, Zoe's not the first person to get this sort of implant, and likely not the last.

A few years down the line, procedures and products for these operations may very well be ironed out and regulated. In that hypothetical future, would you be interested in getting an NFC implant? Why or why not? Would you have the cojones to inject one into yourself if it meant you could get one now? What would you use it for?

Source: Quinnspiracy

Image credit: Dangerous Things

Via: Kotaku

Related: NFC News

Reader comments

Would you implant an NFC chip into your hand?

30 Comments

I would hate the fact you can actually feel it. That must be horrible. On the same subject, I'd seen somewhere that someone had replaced there amputated thumb with a USB drive.

It looks smaller than a contraceptive implant that some women have installed, I don't think you'd feel it unless you were actively feeling for it. And yeah I saw that. If you lose an appendage you really should replace it with something cool!

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No way would I consider it! The pain factor wouldn't be an issue, since I have tattoos. However, I wouldn't want some device that might be hacked and that would allow me to be tracked by my actual body, even if I don't have any smartphones, smartwatches, etc. with me at the time.

Hell yeah! If I could think of a real use... I bought a 10 pack of NFC stickers about a year ago and 9 are still in the cellophane.

I know a few medical professionals and the odd piercer/tattooist, so I'd see if I could enlist some assistance. I have the cojones, but someone with both hands free would find it easier.

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I would be interested. It would be good to have data easily available and not tied to any device/service. I have the conjones. I would probably go for boring contact info initially but eventually opt for some tasker related automation for the flat.

I wouldn't. I don't think that foreign objects should be implanted. Personally I had metal screws and had to get them removed because my body rejected them. Too many complications to think about.

If it's small enough? Sure, why not. To be able to use something like that to unlock your phone (or even your home...) would make for much more sense and less hassle. Similar to the Nymi, except this isn't wearable. IUDs, Implenon, RFIDs, radiation beads for cancer, it's not that uncommon and wouldn't be so terrible if done by a professional.

Some people will end up missing a hand based on information stored on the chips, but this is only new news to us. The government has been using them for more than 20years

I wholeheartedly believe that, in 10 years, implantable NFC chips like this or something similar will replace our physical keys and computer passwords.

I don't see much use for this so I wouldn't do it. However, if scientists and engineers created fully functional robot arms that could be connected to the human body and be controlled by my thoughts, I would seriously consider having my arms amputated and replaced with them. As a quadriplegic with limited use of my arms, it would open a word of new possibilities for me. I wish I lived in the future lol.

Heck yes! This should be the way forward. We can already pay for stuff via NFC using our phones. I think the next step should be paying physically. I would love to just wave my hand over the interac machine and have the funds come out of my account. It would be super handy!

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I would certainly consider it, but going of vpblaze's comment (I didn't see a reply option?), I'd be a bit leary of an NFC chip anywhere on me. It's morbid to think about, but someone could walk by, chop off your hand and have instant access to whatever the chip allows.

Now, if we're talking about having it tie into biometrics (say, looking for your heartbeat), we're cutting down that risk.

I would happily, Tasker phone unlock chip in my phone hand and a business/contact card in my butt cheek so everyone who want's my contact details can kiss my A55. You'd probably benefit from tattooing an NFC tag Image on your skin before Implanting, just so you don't loose track of them.

I like the idea. I could put my contact card on it and be able to add my phone number to peoples phone almost magically lol
Put one in each finger for a different task haha maybe not. There are people who put magnets in their fingers though...

Yes! Sign me up if I can use this to log into my computer, lock/unlock my house/car, start my car, notify me when my phone is too far away, etc.... As creepy as it seems, this has so many practical applications.

I wouldn't do such thing, but I admire her desire to be connected no matter how far it goes. She's a living experiment and that's it. 'The masses' won't follow these hypes, it it'll ever be one.

I think implanted chips are the next step for tap-payments. Skip having the card, just put your hand on the reader and be done.

At first I was going to say that she'd regret the choice of link the NFC tag sends, but as I understand it, she can reprogram it. In that case, I think this is pretty cool.

The magnet is less practical now, but it's not like the standard people use for magnets is going to change in 5 years.

Maybe a better place than under the skin for an nfc chip would be on jewelry, which can also announce the presence of the device.

I would much rather implant a chip in my kids that I can activate through an app or computer to get there location.

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Well someone is bound to do it. I think that at least she's doing it to herself vs. a company looking for volunteers or paid subjects. I can see that she's enthusiastic about the prospect of taking this further.