How radio-frequency identification and I got personal


Amal Graafstra is a friend of ours who is the author of the do it yourself RFID book, RFID Toys, and owner of


Amal has experienced a decent amount of internet fame for being one of the first people to implant RFID tags into his body. Amal, is far from wierd or crazy, he’s a very down to earth guy who happens to like new technology and wasn’t afraid to insert a tiny glass bead into his hand. After all, it’s a pretty tame body mod compared to what many people do.

Amal has written an article about his experience experimenting with RFID called Hands On.

How radio-frequency identification and I got personal

When I open my front door, I don’t reach for a key. When I log into my computer, I don’t touch my keyboard. When I start my motorcycle, again, no key needed. Instead, I just wave my hand and I’m in business.

I was one of the first do-it-yourselfers to have a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag implanted under my skin. In fact, I have two—one between the thumb and index finger in my left hand, the other in the matching spot on my right hand.

So what’s a nice guy like me doing with a microchip in each of my hands? My life as an RFID guinea pig started in early 2005. At the time I was managing servers for medical facilities around Seattle, a job for which I carried around a ring of keys to almost 100 different doors and drawers.

That bulky key ring got me thinking. It struck me that modern keys are just crude identification devices, little changed in centuries. Even if each lock were unique—most aren’t—keys can be copied in any hardware store and, once distributed, are hard to control.

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5 Responses to “How radio-frequency identification and I got personal”

  1. Bob Mottram says:

    Personally I don’t see the attraction in doing this. A better solution would be to incorporate the RFID into your wrist watch strap or other commonly worn jewelry.

  2. matt says:

    You are right about simplicity and just using a wristband / keychain. As far as I know Amal has never advocated implanting as something people should incorporate as a technology. He just did it because he wanted to.

  3. Nderim says:

    Amal didn’t said you have to use it but he said its more easy and more secure.. I wanna do it too 😀

  4. Danny says:

    It may seem a nice gadget, but one has to look further than today. First of you give control over to a computer that recognizes you and gives access or not. So you may think you can control your surrounding more easily, but actually the environment controls you. So if we take this technology into the future and all things around us are being controlled and monitored in the same manner, it is the ones that manage the computers that have control over you. They can control your life and everything you do can be monitored.
    I will never ever allow this technology to be forced upon me. If the ones in control do not like you, they can shut you down. Already with the bankcards and sorts they can do that, but a chip you can’t throw away.

  5. thanks for this post useful information here.

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