Talk:Entrepreneur's RFID chip implant to open doors, start car/Notes
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Interviewed over email by User:IlyaHaykinson. Questions prefixed by dash (-).
-----Original Message----- - briefly tell me about yourself. i take it you work in the technical position at a web hosting provider? I have no RFID background at this point, however I do have an extensive tinkering/gadgetry background. I like to mod things (http://amal.net/blog/links/07-07-04_1455.jpg, http://amal.net/blog/links/07-07-04_1642.jpg), and I guess it was only natural that it extended to my own body. I became interested in RFID and other alternate means of identification a while back. I constantly lose my keys... and my wallet... yeah, I'm one of those guys. So I was sitting around thinking about keys and credit cards, and the obvious truth that these chunks of metal and pieces of plastic were really representing me... basically identifying me to whatever mechanisms and systems they worked with, be it my front door deadbolt or my bank account. I basically just wanted to get rid of my keys and wallet. A lot of people ask why not use biometrics, an approach that uses your own body and features to identify you... and I guess I have my own big brother paranoia. Given the choice of Orwellian societies, I'd rather live in one based on RFID tags than fingerprints, DNA, or facial structure... because an RFID tag system is easy to manage and opt-out of... DNA sampling or facial recognition is, well, not. As for the future of my involvement with RFID past my own projects, I'm already talking to many of my clients (I provide services to medical clinics and other medical related industries) for tracking products/items, such as blood test vials, throughout the entire process... from collection to testing to storage and eventually to disposal or whatever it's final destination is. I own Morpheus Inc., which started out as a webhosting company but now we are expanding into managed computing environments (http://morpheusinc.com/mce). I also am part owner in a venture called WireCutter (http://www.wirecutter.com), which I am very excited about. - why did you decide to implant yourself with an RFID chip? It honestly started out because of the car keys issue I talked about above... but really, when you get right down to it, the proceedure was rather trivial, so why not? Right now I'm only looking at this thing in a personal context... something really only for me. As for society at large... night clubs in Spain are already using RFID chips to let customers put drinks on their tabs and enter VIP lounge areas... I think Australian pubs are doing the same as well. I'm not sure if they use encrypted implants or not... I was more interested in just getting something simple, cheap, and fun to play with. - how long did the process take? was it painful during or after? The proceedure was rather simple. Normally, the RFID chip is implanted with a needle and syringe and is as simple as a swab of anesthetic, inject, bandaid, done. However, we couldn't find a needle 2mm in size in stock, so we resorted to a scalpel. The chip itself was placed into a container with a powerful anasthetic. I was asked if I had any allergies to any medications or latex or anything like that. I washed my hands with soap. The tools were taken out of their sealed sterile bags, and I was told not to touch them or the clean sheet on the little table. They look like a jumbled mess because they fell out of the sterile bags that way. Then I just sat down in a chair and my hand was swabbed with some form of anesthetic... from the color of it, I'd guess it was iodine based. A local anesthesia was injected (because I'm kind of a wussy) and within a minute we were cutting into my skin. The chip itself is encased in glass and is solid inside... probably containing some kind of epoxy resin of some sort, so there is little chance of crushing or breaking it. The chip was removed from the liquid it was soaking in with metal tongs and dried, then inserted into the cut. It was odd feeling it being pushed under the surface of my skin... without feeling pain, I was able to really get a feel for just how utilitarian our bodies actually are and how separate everything is... how separate the skin layer really is from the muscle layer under it. It really is just a rubbery protective coating. Complex and amazing, but far less mysterious to me now. The chip is placed between the skin layer (all the way under the skin) and the muscle layer... but honestly, it could have gone anywhere. The main concern is migration and read-range. You don't want a chip too deep to get an effective read from, but you also don't want it scooting around under your skin once it's in. This implant surface has nothing on it... it is simply glass touching my body. However, the implants dogs and cats get normally have a "cup" or half-coating on them which is a porous polypropylene polymer sheath that allows development of fibrocytes and collagen fibers to grow around the implant and impede migration. The doc wasn't too worried about my implant moving around on me though... and really the only problem if it does move is knowing where it is so you can scan it. After the chip was in place, the doc used skin glue instead of stitches to close it up. After it was closed, some steri-strips were placed over the site to help hold it together, and then a non-stick gauze bandage pad was taped over top, then some really fancy loose gauze was wrapped around my hand, making me look like a burn victim. I was told not to flex or move my left hand or use it for anything for at least a couple days. I was then given the standard "if it gets red or infected call me, etc." patient care information. The whole proceedure took about 5 minutes to prep for, 1 minute to actually perform, and 5 minutes to bandage up and go through the patient care information. I had never had skin glue on me before and had my doubts... especially since I went right out and disobeyed doctors orders... only an hour after the proceedure, I had to move a bunch of rack mount servers from one rack to another... a 2 hour process of lifting and using a screwdriver and such. I babied that hand, but as the anesthesia wore off, I could feel a little bit of pain in my hand... but I pressed on, confident my skin glue had come apart. However, today I took off the outer bandages and things looked fine... no blood or tearing. - your site mentions that your friend who did the implantation is a doctor -- is he / she worried about performing this type of an operation? would he/she be willing to answer some questions (on or off record)? I just did this procedure last night, and as I have not asked the doctor for permission to publish their name, I can't give that out... but they happen to be a cosmetic surgeon, so it seemed the natural choice. However, it was not hard to find someone to do the procedure... I have many MDs for clients and the day I got my chips, I asked two and both said they'd do it. I also stopped into a tattoo shop and asked them if they'd do the procedure and, while they couldn't help me, they gave me the number of someone who does body mods and said they would probably do it no prob. Since I had two willing MDs, I didn't bother following up... I was just curious to see how hard it might be to get someone to put this thing in me. - you are undoubtedly getting some feedback about this, both positive and negative. any highlights? I've not gotten much feedback yet, as this just happened last night. I honestly didn't think so many people would find my flickr pictures that interesting... I'm quite surprised at the number of image views. I put the FAQ page up on my site simply for a few friends I sent the flickr link to.
- who's the manufacturer of the chip? Verichip? How did you choose the model? I don't actually know the specific manufacturer of this chip... but it is not VeriChip... I believe they use a proprietary encoding and reading system for their chips, I like a standards based approach which allows for the use of cheap and easily available equipment.