RFID implants - difficulty, not a dog
July 16, 2019 2:49 PM   Subscribe

I’m ready to get chipped, what do I need to know?

I want to be able to do my workplace pull-to-print and tagless entry as well as perhaps getting some sort of payment option on. My understanding is that Nothing gets put “on” the chip but rather that the chip ID is recorded in the DB of the various services, but then what are RFID writers for? Help a noob out please.
posted by Iteki to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The writer does just that - writes an ID code to the device which can then be read back by reader. You would need to basically duplicate whatever your current keycard/token ID emits back to the reader. The payment thing might be trickier to accomplish. As you might imagine, they're specifically designed not to be easily duplicated. But it's been done.
posted by jquinby at 2:54 PM on July 16, 2019

That certain authorities may have opinions about biohacking.
posted by zamboni at 9:00 PM on July 16, 2019

Best answer: Dangerous Things is basically the authority and (only?) source for RFID implants. The website covers the types of RFID implants and what they can be used for. Their facebook group has good info and help too.

Basically, it's not going to work as you think it will. There are many RFID "standards", and it is unlikely that the badge scanners your work uses for tagless entry and printing will be the same as that supported by the implants (though there different types of implants available).

Additionally, payment via RFID implant will NOT work. As you mention, the RFID chip you get implanted just stores data, it does not do anything dynamic. Payments require dynamic responses.

What most people are doing with RFID implants is installing RFID door locks, or readers for their computers/cars/etc, to use the RFID implant as a replacement for a physical key or to trigger some sort of home automation. Depending on the cards, some people are able to replace their train/bus passes with their RFID implants (though that is technically against the TOS of the transit service and you may get harassed when asked to validate your ride payment).

With that said, it is a fun biohack to do (I have two RFID implants myself), and it's basically like having a set of keys that you can't loose. I originally had similar hopes to be able to replace my work badge and transit pass, but I was an early adopter and the RFID implants I have don't support them. There are now many more choices available (see the website), and maybe you'll get lucky and one of the RFID implants matches the RFID standard that you need :)
posted by jpeacock at 9:15 PM on July 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

I know this doesn't directly answer the question, so mods delete if needed, but you may get closer to what you want to accomplish with a ring such as Token because they're actively working with various industries such as the credit card industry to make this possible.

(Note: Token isn't available yet AFAIK but there are various smart rings on the market already, but the idea hasn't been fully realized in any available ring, yet.)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:29 AM on July 17, 2019

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