Today in “Do not try this at home” news, a man in Utah has implanted his Tesla key into his hand to save himself all of the arduous hassle of, you know, pushing a button.
Pot-smoking Tesla CEO Elon Musk used the occasion of the company’s stock hitting $420 this morning to tweet a marijuana joke. But he might be even higher on the idea that one Tesla owner just carried through on, to get Tesla technology baked right into his body. KRON 4 brings us the news that a man in Utah has implanted his Tesla key into his hand so he can open the car door with a simple wave of the appendage.
We wondered if this fellow was pulling some manner of online hoax, so we took a look at the sourcing of this story. KRON 4’s report is reprinted from something called CNN Newsource, which is not CNN, but is owned by CNN and provides local TV stations with a platform to upload or download local video reports. It turns out the original report comes from KSTU Fox 13 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They got an interview with implantee Ben Workman, and while we can’t embed the video of him showing that the implant does indeed work, you can watch it here.
“I tried going to a veterinarian, a doctor, a piercing studio, no one would do it,” Workman told KSTU. He ultimately got a piercing artists to poke the thing into him. “I figured they would be fine with it, but they took one look at the thing I had in my hands and they said no."
Workman eventually talked them into it, and now has four microchips implanted into his hand using completely amateur methods. In addition to his quasi-surgically embedded Tesla key, he also has chips for Apple Pay, Android Pay, and a personal computer log-on.
Aside for the obvious infections risks and completely medically unsound nature of this, the surveillance ramifications seem absolutely sinister. The science of microchipping human beings does already exist, using a technology called near-field communication. But the potential for corporate or hostile government exploitation of personal and medical data is unlimited here, with Privacy International executive director Gus Hosein telling PBS Newshour that it’s the “modern form of tattooing bar codes on people.” Considering the ethics record of the tech industry, these early experimentations in amateur, DIY microchipping may be setting the foundation for a day when mandatory tracking and recording microchips are shot into every human being whether they want it or not.
Merry Christmas, everybody.
Image: Paramount Pictures