Cyborgs may be a mainstay of science fiction, but at least one software engineer is bringing the future to the present.
ABC News is reporting that Ben Workman, a 29 year-old software engineer, has implanted RFID and NFC computer chips in his hands. He also has a magnet implanted in one hand, which he uses for mainly for entertainment value, and a Tesla key implanted in the other.
According to Workman, it was not easy finding someone willing to implant the chips. The process is relatively simply—similar to microchipping a pet—using a needle to insert the implant under the skin. Despite that, doctors, veterinarians and tattoo parlors all turned him down before his phlebotomist cousin finally agreed to implant the first two.
Implanting the Tesla key was more challenging.
“I had to send the valet key to a company called Dangerous Things,” Workman told ABC News. “They take the key, dissolve it in acetate, reshape it and then put a medical polymer on it.”
While the insertion process is somewhat painful, due to the size needle required, once in the implants cause no discomfort. On the other hand, Workman can feel the magnet when he moves his hand, due to its size.
The RFID and NFC chips allow Workman to control electronic devices and duplicate some smartphone technology. For example, he can copy a person’s contact info from their phone with his hand or configure a WiFi network. Thanks to his programming background, he can also program the implants to do different tasks.
“Anything with home automation I can program into my chips,” he said.
According to ABC News, he can also use “his hands to control his home’s smart devices, like turning on and off the lights, and programmed his hand to replace his work badge he uses to swipe open the door at work.”
As Workman points out, one of the biggest benefits of this type of technology is security. It’s much easier to steal a phone, car keys or security badge than it is to hack a biochip. And, of course, there’s always the futuristic cool factor as well.