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I get it; losing your car keys sucks. Walking all the way to the car just to realize you left the keys at the house sucks. However, keys are usually fairly temporary objects because cars tend to be temporary. Be that as it may, these Tesla disciples, “biohackers,” as they call themselves, are taking a drastic approach to keep up with their car keys. Biohackers are now implanting Tesla key chips into their actual living human bodies. 

Interior of a 2022 Tesla Model X. It's not recommended by Consumer Reports because of missing technology.
2022 Tesla Model X interior | Tesla

Can you get your Tesla key implanted in your body? 

You can, and people are. The new term for people willing to incorporate technology into their bodies to better interact with external devices is “Biohackers.” These folks are a growing tribe that feels like something out of a sci-fi or Elon Musk’s Twitter. Whatever it feels like, it doesn’t feel real, but it is. A YouTube person, “Aime DD,” slid a Tesla key chip into her arm to allow herself to open and start her Tesla without needing keys on her. But there are some folks who have taken it even further. 

In an interview with MotorTrend, biohacker Brandon Dalaly explains how and why he made this dramatic alteration to his body. These biohackers remove the chip from the key card and have body-mod specialists insert the chip in the hacker’s chosen body part. 

Is it safe to implant computer chips in your body? 

This kind of thing feels like it would be damaging. Usually, implanting foreign materials into our bodies is done with extreme care and close monitoring. This feels like way too big of a risk to avoid reaching into your pocket for your keys. 

Dalaly told the MotorTrend, “the chips are encased in biocompatible materials that are also used in surgical environments,” said Dalaly. “I think about people with really large and surgically invasive devices like pacemakers implanted in them. So, something this small doesn’t worry me. Pretty much everything causes cancer anyway.” 

The interviewer also asked how badly the implant hurt. This, of course, depends on what size chip you get and where you implant it. Dalaly’s chip required “a four-gauge needle” to make a large enough pocket said Dalaly. “The flat chip was then inserted into that pocket and moved into place.” 

What can we use computer chip implants for?

To his credit, unlike Aime DD, Dalaly’s implant does more than just unlock his Tesla. “The chip can run secure Java Card applets, which can then be wirelessly deployed onto the chip via NFC (near-field communication),” said Dalaly. “There is an app store by the company that makes the chip. There is a Tesla app available for it, so the chip now pairs with my Tesla.” 

This new sci-fi tech is currently used as a Tesla party trick but might have farther-reaching impacts. We live in a digital world where data theft is a major concern. Dalaly trusts that hackers with skimming devices would struggle to crack his chip, but if thieves can read the RFID chips in your wallet from their phones, what stops them from reading your arm? 

Technology is moving so fast now that we barely have enough time to decide if we want the new tech before it is unanimously integrated into our lives. Biohacking is only one of many new technologies that might take some time to get used to – a lot of time.


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