Andrew would be one of eight people to undergo the RFID implantation among the 500 or so attendees of Toorcamp, a hacker conference and retreat near the northwest corner of Washington State. Graafstra’s “implantation station” was set up in the open air: Any camper willing to spend $30 and sign a liability waiver could have the implantation performed, and after the excitement of Andrew’s injection, a small line formed to be next.
And why volunteer to be injected with a chip that responds to radio signals with a unique identifier, a procedure typically reserved for tracking pets and livestock? “I thought it would be cool,” says Andrew, when we speak at a picnic table a few minutes after his injection. (The pain, he tells me, was only a short pinch, followed by a “weird feeling of a foreign body sliding into my hand.”)