RFID & NFC Transponder Implants

RFID is an acronym that means Radio Frequency IDentification. In short, RFID describes a method to identify something using radio energy. There are many types and flavors of RFID created by a huge range of technologies that can all be classified under the RFID umbrella. There are a few major segments, defined by the type of radio energy used; active, backscatter, and passive. Active devices are long range powered radio devices which communicate like a typical “transmitter” using the electric field, such as smartphones, ham radios, broadcast radios, etc. Backscatter tags are medium range devices that receive a pulse of transmitted energy from a reader and reflect it back to the emitter. Passive RFID systems are short range, magnetically coupled devices where a reader and tag use induction coils to exchange both power and data. The reader creates a magnetic field and the tag inducts power from this field to power itself, and this magnetic field is modulated to pass data between reader and tag. Our product lineup focuses on short range passive devices.

NFC is an acronym meaning Near Field Communication, which is a set of protocols that lay directly atop passive RFID standards. Therefore, all passive NFC tags are passive RFID transponders that conform to the NFC standard, but not all RFID tags fall under the requirements of the NFC standard. Of course this does not apply to NFC active “peer-to-peer” protocols, only NFC passive device standards.

So why would anyone want to implant one of these transponders under their skin? Amal Graafstra, our founder and CEO, explains his reason for implanting transponders and starting biohacking company Dangerous Things in this 2013 TEDx video.

Our x-series transponders are the most popular transponder implants because they are easily installed using an injection assembly (a needle). Because they are installed using a needle, we partner with professional body piercers to ensure our customers can get our products installed safely by a licensed professional in a sterile studio environment. Our flex transponders are more advanced, with better performance, but installation requires a medical doctor or a skilled and licensed professional body modification artist who is familiar with more advanced body modification procedures.

We’re sure you have plenty of questions about our transponder products, which is why we are constantly updating our transponder FAQ. Each product page also contains useful product-specific information, so be sure to read the product pages thoroughly.