So a few months ago I got my first NFC implant in my left hand, I haven't been able to find a thread for those of us who have them or much information on them apart from the basics.
So here it is.
Did you know I gave a talk on NFC implants at The March Of The Droids Conference?
You do now, so here's the video
What You Should Know
- It's virtually painless to have them implanted
- They should last a life time
- The implant itself is about the size of a grain of rice
- They can be removed easily if needed
- They are smaller than standard NFC tags and therefore have a smaller range, on my note 2 it took me a while to find the spot I had to place my phone (the center of "SAMSUNG" on the back), however a week later I was able to get it straight away
- They only have a small amount of storage, if you want to use it for longer or multiple links etc a url shortener is probably your best bet, however it can handle " my name, phone number, email address and facebook page"
- You can feel it under the skin, but cant see any lump etc
- Work or UNI cards can't be copied over to it however as the implant is Miifare compatible, my IT department at uni were more than happy to scan my hand and add it to the system
- Unlocking phones
- Miifare authentication
- Logging in to Windows
- Passing information such as URLs and contact details without the need for social media or email etc
- Launching Tasker profiles
- Opening Apps
- Unlocking Samsung EZON digital locks
- Activating Cyanogen Profiles
- Anything you can use a NFC tag, RFID tag or Miifare card for!
Unlocking your device
Prior to Android 5.0.0
By default in android, NFC is turned off when your screen is off or the device is locked, to enable a NFC implant to unlock a stock lock screen their is a Xposed Module called "NFC LockScreenOffEnabler" which allows NFC polling without your device being unlocked or if you so desire your screen being on as well. This module also includes the ability to select tags that can unlock your device.
With Androids new smart unlock you can set your device to unlock with nfc without the need for root and Xposed, to set this up all you need to do is navigate to:
Settings > Security > Smart Lock > Trusted Devices
Then simply tap the + icon, select NFC and scan your implant.
Sharing links and contact details
This is possibly the most simple use for an NFC tag and can be achieved through most nfc apps, I favour PLAY STORE: NFC Tools.
once the app has been installed, open it and select the "write" tab, select "add record" and then either URL or contact depending on your needs.
after selecting URL from the add record screen all you need to do is to select your URL scheme from the drop down menu the will usually be either HTTP:// or HTTPS:// and then enter the remainder of the url in the text box to its right.
I usually use a URL shortener such as goo.gl as the implants have limited storage capacity.
Select ok and the on the following screen select "write" and scan your implant. Done!
after selecting contact from the add record screen you will see a simple self explanatory form including: name, company, phone number, email and website. after entering all or some of this information, select ok and the on the following screen select "write" and scan your implant. Done!
Sharing Social Media App Links
You want someone to be able to scan your implant and their Twitter or Facebook app open to your profile? If you were to set it up so that upon scanning the app was opened straight away this could cause issues if they did not have said app, they would be instead directed to the play store and the link would be lost unless they installed and re-scanned your implant. However Android allows an excellent way around this.
- Start by navigating to the "Write" tab in NFC Tools as above in the "Sharing Links" section
- Select "Add Record" followed by "Social Networks"
- Select the network of your choice and in the next screen enter the username associated with the profile you wish to open
- Hit "write" and and scan your tag
Opening mifare card controlled doors at work and uni etc
simply put the only way to do this is to speak to your IT department, if they are ok with it they will scan your tag with a reader and add you to the system. mine were more than happy to accommodate and the entire process took less than 2 minutes. not including the time it took to answer all the usual questions "why, how and what?". you should immediately be able to start using it.
PSA: It is highly advised that you check with your IT department first as to the type of Mifare they use, NFC implants use Mifare Ultralight which may not be compatible with your system. Also any other method of using your implant to open doors etc may violate your companies security policy, please be smart and only do this through your IT department.
The two apps I use for day to day use of my tag are: PLAY STORE: NFC Tools and PLAY STORE: Dangerous NFC
NFC Tools comes with loads of features, not just useful for implants but for all NFC tags making it simple to read and write to your tag a wide variety of records, simply select the type of record you would like e.g. URL and it brings you up a wizard to complete your record.
Dangerous NFC however ensures your implant cannot be locked permanently and allows you to set a 32 bit password to stop others unlocking your tag
The implant I have is a NTAG216 from Dangerous things and can be bought here and will set you back £60 GBP, $100 USD or 80 Euros. These come in a sterile injector assembly and also come with a bottle of chloraprep skin prep, sterile surgical gloves, bandages a gauze pads. Most piercing studios however should already have these things.
Dangerous Things offer a map of piercers that are competent in the implantation which can be found here and also offer training manuals and videos on the implantation procedure for piercers who have not done it before. as well as a guide for approaching a piercer new to implants, the following is an excerpt from that guide
- Print out, in color if possible, the two pro guides from http://dangerousthings.com/pro-guide, specifically the Introduction to Implantable Transponders for Professionals, and the Professional Guide to 2x12mm Transponder Installation documents.
- Call local piercers in your area to schedule an appointment to simply come in and talk about a specific piercing you want. Do not talk about the implant or go into detail on the phone, just say you’d like to talk to them before you decide to get a piercing. They should be happy to have you come in and chat.
- Go to the shop with the printed documents. Bring the product with you, but do not expect to get it implanted that day. The best you can expect would be to hand over the documents for the piercer to review at a later time, and have a short discussion about what it is you want implanted and why. If you’re lucky, the piercer will be ok with it and you’ll get an implant done that day.
- Plan to visit multiple shops until you find one willing to perform the procedure.
- If we can help in any way, let the piercer know we’re available for free phone consulting and advanced Q&A, just contact us via the website and we’ll call them.
- When you get a piercer to perform the install, please let us know who by sending us an email, submit our contact form, or ping us on Facebook. We’d love to get their information so we can upgrade them to a full partner and list them on our partner map!
I can't fault this advice in the slightest however I would add that a piercer who is familiar with micro-dermals as implantation
The procedure itself doesn't take more than a minute and simply involves injecting the implant under the skin