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I can’t believe these DIY microchip implant kits are real

Published Mar 2nd, 2021 9:15PM EST
human implants
Image: Dangerous Things

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Imagine a weird, dystopian future where humans are microchipped as soon as they are born. If they want, they can install new components that allow them to open doors or unlock digital devices with their wrists, and even place LEDs beneath their skin that allow them to flicker and blink like a fleshy robot. Strange, right? Well, brace yourself, because everything I just described is apparently available right now.

I’m not entirely sure if I can wrap my head around it, but a company in Seattle is currently selling DIY implants that turn your body into a functional RFID or NFC device. Some in the body modification scene have been dabbling with functional implants for years, but the kits that are available from Dangerous Things (interesting branding choice, by the way) look pretty sophisticated. The company even sells an NTAG chip that has a trio of LED lights. Wow.

As Core77 reports, the kits are definitely not approved by, well, pretty much anyone. The company notes on its website that if you choose to buy one of its kits and slice your hand open to stuff some tech in there, you’re doing so “strictly at your own risk.”

Nevertheless, the company packs its kits with everything you’d need to do this extreme body modification at your kitchen table. You can buy your implants with syringes that stuff the smaller, pill-shaped devices beneath your skin, but for the larger chips, you’re going to need one of the various styles of scalpels in the store. You can also grab some “numbing gel,” a lidocaine patch for pain, and a “PMK,” which is short for “pain management kit.” And this is all assuming that the actual installation of the device goes off without a hitch (or an infection in the days that follow).

There’s even a “Cyborg Transformation Kit” available. For the price of $99.00, you’ll get an RFID chip emulator, NFC tag, and some field detectors that light up to help you practice using your implants and ensuring that they’re working properly.

As for what happens after you slice yourself open, the extensive FAQ on the company’s website offers some info on what to expect:

Over the two to four weeks post-installation, the body will begin to encapsulate the tag with fibrous collagen tissue. To help this process along, you can take prenatal vitamins, which help build collagen and connective tissues. During this time, it is important that you not perform any strenuous activity, put pressure on the tag, play with or poke at the tag, work out, spar, rock climb, shoot firearms, or grip anything with significant force as it can cause the muscles in your hand to apply unequal pressure to the tag and cause it to migrate under the skin.

So, if you fancy becoming a walking NFC chip, make sure you don’t fire a gun in the weeks that follow. Cyberpunk 2077 this is not.