SYDNEY, June 28 (Xinhua) — To travel on public transport in Sydney, what is known as an “Opal Card” is needed to scan on and off all buses, trains, and ferries, the inconvenience of which led an Australian biohacker to implant his card into the palm of his hand.
The man who goes by the name of Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, his legal name, enlisted an U.S.-based firm to take the near-field communication (NFC) chip from his card and turn it into an implant that he could insert into his body.
Meow-Meow told local media that the bio-compatible plastic chip, that was inserted into his left hand, gives him an “ability that not everyone else has”.
“If someone stole my wallet, I could still get home.” he said.
The device was implanted into his skin by an expert in piercing, and means that he can now use his palm to scan onto public transport services in Sydney, but he warned that the practice itself was in breach of the service providers terms of service.
“It will be really interesting to see what happens when the first transit officer scans my arm.” he said.
Transport for New South Wales (NSW) oversees the Opal card system, and a spokesperson told Xinhua on Wednesday that they “do not support the tampering or damaging of Opal cards”.
“In addition, changing the physical attributes of the card may impact the reliability of the Opal card, and customers that are caught tampering with their card may have their card cancelled.” the spokesperson said.
However, the bio-hacker said he has two other NFC implants in his hand, and arm, with one of those being used to store his essential documents, and he believes this will eventually become commonplace.
“You’ll see it in parole, in nursing homes where people are unable to divulge medical details,” Meow-Meow said.
“If I could go to a government department and swipe my hand, that would make accessing these services a lot easier.”