Cracking open the Oyster

Been discussing with someone over whether London’s Oyster contactless prepaid card could be implanted subdermally, by ripping out the RFID chip and pasting it under a flap of skin on your right forearm. It’d mean you’d never be stuck for a Tube fare.

As a Googler, he states he’s already considered doing this with his Googleplex ID card (and you thought their 20% creativity time was spent inventing AdWords and stuff.) Apparently the RFID stuff itself is quite big, with lots of wiry bits functioning as the antenna of the induction radio.

Where it gets interesting, though, is if you could hotwire the chip’s input connections into your nervous system, so the natural electrical energy of your body could power the chip up if you could train your neurals to trigger the right logic gates. Technically speaking, this means recharging the card with credit would be a simple matter of doing the right dance. (Or maybe thinking the right thoughts. Probably involving voting for Ken Livingstone.)

Could this even become legitimate, granting Londoners a means of travel in exchange for providing street entertainment or adherence to a certain moral code? Definitely one to think about.

Or not.

As an aside: the Hongkong equivalent is called Octopus, keeping that sea-based non-mammalian metaphor going. However, the one in Singapore is called EzyLink. They really should have used Lobster. Or Chilli Crab.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s