RFID implant

They chip horses, don’t they? And dogs and cats and cows and all sorts of pets and domesticated animals. Why not people, too? That’s the question posed by the folks at Dangerous Things, who have developed their xNT implantable RFID chips that you can inject into yourself. Just slip the tiny 2 mm by 12 mm (smaller than a half inch long) glass tag under your skin between your thumb and forefinger, and your hand becomes a bionic key that you can use to unlock everything from your smartphone to your front door.

The tags use RFID technology, or Radio-Frequency Identification. They do not require a battery; electromagnetic induction can provide enough power for them to be read wirelessly at a distance of a dozen feet. RFID labels are routinely used on all sorts of packaging to help manage inventory and handling. And animals have been chipped with them for years.

The chips from Dangerous Things are still at the Do-It-Yourself stage, but they will work with industry standard RFID readers, and the near-field communication (NFC) features of some smartphones. The company also sells reader kits so that you can roll your own chip-reading locking mechanism.

This is clearly cutting edge (literally) technology for wearable technology, but its proponents think it has a bright future. In a world where security is an issue, not just for physical items like homes and cars, but also for establishing personal identity from shopping to accessing electronic equipment and online content, this could simplify life immensely. You are your own security ID, with a unique chip embedded that can easily be read to verify that you are who you say you are. Apparently, a lot of people agree. The company’s IndieGoGo campaign last year blew right past its $8,000 goal, and raised more than $30,000.