Non-DT NTAG / Mifare Classic + LED implants - or are they?

New offerings from IAmRobot in Germany:

NFC X2 (NTAG216, small or large) w/ optional LED
NFC X3 (Mifare Classic, small 1k or large 4k) w/ optional LED

I’m assuming they got those chips made themselves, not just reselling DT chips, right?

I’m actually kind of tempted by their large implant offerings: I already have one of their oversized implants in my right hand, and the increase in range is real. But I’m more tempted by DT’s Flex series, because the range increase with those is more real :slight_smile:

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I’m not concerned about the integrity of this “payment implant” at all :pensive:

Yeah… we’ve heard of at least 5 installs failing within the first 30 days… probably more since the customers who have bought it have not been talking about it at all for some reason.

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Yeah definitely not our stuff…

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Is that corrosion I am seeing or is it just color from the copper?

I don’t see any corrosion. It looks like it’s literally 2 of those over the counter NFC LED fingernail covers, a chip taken out of a prepaid credit card, a hand “wound” coil, all shrink wrapped in some kinda plastic and cut to size with scissors. I really hope that’s not going in anyone’s body.

From what I undersand… stay away from I am Robot? Can do!

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What’s wrong with it? Genuinely naive question: I have no idea what to look for in a picture of an implant like that one to say whether or not it’s up to scratch.

I have 2 of their chips in me and I’m still alive :slight_smile: My experience with them is mostly good, apart perhaps that the company’s owner isn’t too quick to reply to emails.

So, being a happy customer, the big “payment chip” is a bit of a surprise to me: if you specialists reckon it’s a liability, that’s one letdown. The other of course is the payment functionality claim - and the blurb that’s ultralight on details: it smells like a scam from a mile away. If that thing had been on their site before I bought my first chip from them, I would never have done business with them.

I’m really surprised…

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There’s another post on the forum from a few months ago where we hypothesize about the functionality of this payment implant. You can take a look for it. In all likelihood it does do “payment”, but it accomplishes that by using a non-programmable chip cannabalized from a pre-paid debit card. IIRC it only works in Germany, not the entire Eurozone or world. The issues with doing “payment implants” that way is that the rights of that chip can be revoked on a whim by the card issuer, and will naturally expire after 2-5 years. There are also often hidden fees and other limitations on those cards put in place by the issuer to steal from low-income individuals who do not have reputable credit and cannot defend themselves in court.

So there’s alot going on in this picture. The fact that the seller chose this as their primary product shot is possibly the biggest red flag, because this is a prototype at best.

Biggest issue is the encapsulation. The edges are rough like they were cut with shears and then not smoothed. You’re going to get jabbed by those corners when your muscles move around. The integrity of the seal is questionable.The edges seem to have been heat sealed together. It looks like it was done by hand, which means it probably wasn’t performed in a vacuum chamber. There are likely to be small pockets of air inside the implant as a result, which will move around and possibly coalesce to put pressure on a small corner of the seal and burst it.

Once the coating inevitably fails, all of the materials inside need to be safe and biocompatible. Each LED is a standalone commercially available fingernail tag, which is nice from a performance perspective. Unfortunately those fingernail tags are made as cheaply as possible and we do not know if the materials are safe for implantation. The conformal coating that allows you to put nail polish on them alone…

The antenna attached to that chip is janky as fuck. I don’t even. “Flexing” that thing would be the quickest method of throwing away € 289.90 that I’ve ever seen. What limited performance it does have is being significantly impacted by the fact that there are three distinct coils in one field, all detuning each other and sapping field strength.

tl;dr
You do whatever you want with your body, but I wouldn’t put that thing under my skin.

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Thanks a lot for the explanation. Very enlightenming.

Like I said, I’m surprised this comes from that vendor.

So you are saying you just like to insert Dangerous Things into your body?

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yep. it’s two “nfc fingernail” covers.

yep, it’s from a VIMpay prepaid micro bank card.

I used to think this, but that is the actual wire coil from the VIMpay card. I only found this out when converting a VIMpay card for a customer…

It’s silicone elastomer. This is one reason for all the reported failures. The guy obviously doesn’t know his chemistry. He also doesn’t know much about proper testing before sending “products” to people… though I’ve had my own debacle in the past… my failure was relying on another party to confirm design and test.

I mean… his glass stuff looks ok… but the problem is you can’t tell by looks… and my hunch is he’s probably turnkeying this stuff from China so there’s no materials controls, and spot checking lots is pointless when they are free to use a mishmash of stuff in a single run… and I’d have doubts about his testing procedures anyway if he failed to do a simple test of his elastomer encapsulation before shipping things out to customers.

I know what you mean by this… but taken literally, “still alive” is canary in the coalmine approach to safety that really isn’t in anyone’s best interest. So many people take this approach when installing cheap 2-bit industrial tags they find from some random supplier, but it’s a terrible way to evaluate risk. People with heavy metal poisoning or 1000% raise in cancer risk due to exposure to carcinogenic materials are “still alive” and in may ways look and think they are perfectly healthy… but damage is being done and risks are not at all being properly represented.

Yes this has been confirmed. VIMpay cards contain static PAN data and expire in 2-4 years.

Yeah the material is pretty soft… he selected a low durometer silicone to enable it to “fold up” in an attempt to decrease the size of the incision required… but it’s part of the reason for all the failures. First is a seam between the two layers… he’s likely pouring one layer, setting it, putting the chip and antennas and NFC nails in, then pouring a layer overtop, then cutting it down to size. The seam between the two layers is a possible ingress point for moisture and bodily fluids.

The other issue is simply the low durometer of the elastomer itself… it makes it soft and pliable but also saturable. Water (and other things) will migrate into and through the material… so whereas the implants that failed within 30 days likely had issues with the seam between the two pours, implants without a compromised seam will probably still experience failures within the first 12-24 months simply because of the material itself not being able to keep from becoming saturated.

The concern I have with elastomers in general are voids and surface quality issues. Silicone typically gets poured in a mold of some kind, and removing it form that mold will typically require a “quick release” spray so the silicone doesn’t bond with the mold surface. That spray is not biocompatible at all and if not absolutely and properly and completely washed from the silicone coming out of the mold, bad things can happen. Nothing that will kill you, but it will cause cell death in your body.

Also, as I said, the quality of the surface will be a problem… small pits and voids give bacteria naturally floating around in your body a place to anchor and set up a colony. Once a colony starts, biofilms produced by many bacterial species will protect the colony until it grows over the entire device, releasing garbage proteins into your body and causing havoc… all while remaining untouchable under that biofilm. This is called biofouling, and it’s a huge problem for medical implants. It can get bad enough to cause massive health complications and sometimes even death.

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In case it wasn’t clear, we don’t use silicone.

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Implants apple card… titanium is bio-safe right… :stuck_out_tongue: :laughing:

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I mean… not wrong, also… very wrong… hahaha

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Is the apple card contactless? I’m not all that familiar with their fancy credit card thing.

It shows an EMV Chip in it
image

Not sure actually, bought an apple thingy, I just assumed and didn’t check because it was a joke :stuck_out_tongue:

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Well, that was even more enlightening - and a bit frightening too. I guess I got lucky I didn’t get no problems and good performances out of my IAR chips.

That was a plain statement of fact: this minute, I’m alive. And yes, you can’t deduce anything useful about the safety of the glass chips I have in me from that statement - hence the smiley :slight_smile:

More seriously, you’re in a unique position to have hard facts to evaluate the safety of implants. But most would-be implantees don’t, and they have to trust a distributor by reckoning and “canary approach”. Exactly like when you buy something online from an unknown shop: you browse around on the site to see if the seller looks serious, if they have contact information, if they’re a brick-and-mortar in a reputable country or a fly-by-night Chinese dude who registered a domain name, if there are reviews or feedback from other customers… And then only when you’re reasonably confident you’ll get a quality product from a serious seller do you place an order.

Well, same thing with IAR when I decided to buy my first chip: they’re in Germany - meaning, in my reasoning, if they fuck up, they’ll have the Germany health authorities to answer to, so they’re probably careful with what they sell - I didn’t see no bad reviews, and the guy answered my email requesting additional technical details (another trick to find out if the seller is legit: send them an email and see if / what / how fast they answer). And then since I was pleased with my first implant, I ordered the second one, and I am very pleased with that one also.

What I’m getting at is, for us mere customers trying to buy right, we only have trust to go by. I trusted IAR based on my limited research, and on my limited experience - both of which were good. And gee, I ordered from DT, and will again, for the same reason - trust - because I interacted with you and other patrons in there here forum and I’m 99% sure I’m as safe as I can be with DT products. But had I had access to the facts you laid out regarding IAR products before buying my first chip, I probably wouldn’t have ordered.

That’s the tragedy of trust: at some point when you lack facts, you have to take a chance, and I clearly did that with my first IAR purchase.

Having said that, personally I’d still order a glass implant from them if they had something tempting: the read range I get from my 3mm-diameter chips is quite good, and I’ve come to the conclusion that coil diameter is key for that. If they ever came out with even larger chips, I’d be tempted, and I’m happy enough a customer to buy from them again.

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yeah I hear you… I was more annoyed by the people who literally do none of that research and just ram stuff in and go “hey i’m still alive, so it’s all good” and then literally get their friends to do the same… but we can’t save 'em all.

absolutely it does…