WTF?! Several of today's automotive companies are abandoning traditional physical keys that access and start vehicles in favor of apps and NFC tech. That's good news for anyone worried about losing their keys, but what if you've left your smartphone somewhere? That's when a key chip implanted into your hand would be helpful.
Tesla owner Brandon Dalaly is a fan of biomodification. He has a chip implanted in his left hand that's used to unlock his home and also store information such as his portfolio, contact card, medical information, Covid vaccination card, and similar items, writes Teslarati.
Dalaly recently added to his collection with a larger implant in his other hand: the VivoKey Apex, a contactless NFC secure element chip that enables secure transactions and java card applets. Dalaly explains that he's in a beta group of around 100 people using them, and that the company behind the $300 component has an app store where users can wirelessly install the applications onto their embedded chips. The first one he downloaded was a Tesla key card.
"[T]hat was the first app I installed on it because I have a Tesla, and now I use that as my key when my Bluetooth key fails or I don't have my key card. You just use your hand," Dalaly said.
The chips are coated in biocompatible substances such as biopolymer and bioglass, allowing them to be encapsulated by the body's tissue once implanted. He had the VivoKey Apex chip placed into his hand by a professional piercer for $100. The process, which you can see in the video above (warning: it's slightly graphic), is similar to how vets chip dogs.
These implants often raise concerns about their susceptibility to being hacked or used accidentally. But Dalaly says that, like phone NFC tech, such scenarios are unlikely and usually only possible when a person or machine is almost touching his hand.
Non-medical body implants remain a controversial area. There are plenty of negative Twitter replies to Dalaly's post about his mods, especially from people who have medical devices implanted through necessity and not by choice. He's not the first person to get a Tesla key chip implanted into his hand, either; several owners have been engaging in this strange practice for a few years now.