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SYFY WIRE Technology

Tesla owner implants RFID key in her arm, becomes one with the machine

By Benjamin Bullard
Tesla owner Amie DD showing an RFID chip key

Elon Musk is famous for flirting with all kinds of boundaries when it comes to locomotion. Whether you’re talking rockets, boats that can catch rocket parts, cars, video games in cars, or even vacuum-sealed express tunnels to help the cars of the future go faster, his ideas often push the limits of conventional thinking.

But not even Musk — a guy who just told the world he wants people to implant wires in their brains — has gone as far as one woman, a Tesla fan so committed to getting the full tech-forward experience that she implanted the RFID chip from her Model 3 valet key right in her forearm.

Tesla owner Amie DD, a software engineer and self-confessed cosplayer and body art fan, used an acetone solution to free the chip from her Model 3 valet key, a process she says on her project blog took about 15 hours. Next, she consulted with implant company Vivokey to devise a custom biopolymer container, one that could safely encapsulate the chip to reside inside her forearm.

From there, all that was left was the actual implanting — a process documented in the video below. Heads up to the squeamish: There’s some skin piercing and some blood ahead, so proceed with caution.

As you can see, the chip isn’t exactly tiny. It’s 40 x 10 millimeters (about size of a AA battery, only flatter), so the act of getting it under the skin is a little harrowing — and definitely not the kind of mild-discomfort procedure that allows your mind to wander. But in return for merging her body with a machine, Amie gains the knowledge, and the convenience, that come with having, in her very person, the only key her car will ever need.

Here’s hoping the Model 3 has a long shelf life, because we’d hate to think of someone signing up for this procedure every time their high-tech car grew obsolete. Thanks to Tesla’s ongoing rollout of software updates, maybe Amie DD will enjoy a long and happy symbiosis with her ride — while perhaps serving as a pioneering guinea pig for anyone who wonders about the long-term success of implanting a computer chip DIY-style.