The forums were originally run on Vanilla and ran from January 2011 to July 2024. They are preserved here as a read-only archive. If you had an account on the forums and are in the archive and wish to have either your posts anonymized or removed entirely, email us and let us know.

While we are no longer running Vanilla, Patreon badges are still being awarded, and shoutout forum posts are being created, because this is done directly in the database via an automated task.

NFC powered lights

A while I ago discovered these NFC powered lights. Basically you put them near your phone etc and they light up. Given how small they are, and how they are powered wirelessly from a normal phone, I thought they would be ideal for implanting. 

There is one problem with them though, since the range is tiny, if you put your phone over them to power them, you will not be able to see them. and you can't put the phone behind the light to power it because your arm etc is too thick, they won't get enough power. To fix this I removed the LED and attached it to a ~1.5 inch wire, so that it could be seen even when a phone is covering the reader.

I have made 3 of these devices, but not yet coated them, the plan is to coat them in implant grade silicone

What do people think of them? does anyone want one of the prototypes to try it out?

PS: I was already building this before the other RFID light thread, but it is pretty similar to what was suggested there.


Displaying comments 1 - 30 of 122
  1. Think this is what you hinted at to me awhile back in a private message.  I am very much interested in trying one out.
  2. Have you tried powering more than one led off these things? It would be cool to integrate these into a tattoo or something
  3. @aviin In fact, this is something totally different from what I mentioned before, that project has finished the development and testing phase and is currently beginning production. You will see a major launch in a couple of months.

    @ChrisBot yes, you can run more than one light on a single coil, but the current is divided between the LEDs, so the light from each light is dimmer. Also, depending on where on the phone's antenna you place the coil, more/less power is transferred. If people want it, I could make a later version with more LEDs, but this is just a prototype, I don't want to make it more complicated until we see how well the single LED version works.
  4. If they're cheap enough and can be self implanted, if I get a magnet from you then I might get one.

    Looking at that length of wire, this wont go in a glass tube will it?
  5. I don't think I'd trust having a length of glass that long many places in my body even if it could be put in a glass tube.  Glass tubes that size could be sourced, though.  I've seen many 3mm glass-enclosed RFIDs, for example.  @AlexSmith, any idea of the diameter of the bulb?

    I've got a few ideas on how to implant such a thing.  One long incision with a larger pocket at one end for the antenna (this is assuming that the entire device isn't in a single-width silicone block) is one way.

    Depending on the width of the bulb and wire-enclosed bulb segment, something like a 6g piercing needle could be used, too.  You'd make an initial incision and pocket for the antenna, then run the needle from inside the pocket for a length at least the 1.5 inches, then let the needle tip break back through the skin and pull it through the channel leaving just the inch and a half section still in the skin.  Then you'd feed the bulb and wire into the needle and seat the antenna into place.  Now you'd pull the needle the rest of the way through, leaving the bulb and wire behind.  Close with a few sutures at the antenna pocket (and maybe one where the needle left the body).  This way would leave less area to risk invasion by nasties from the outside while it healed, but would involve, perhaps, a tiny bit more internal damage than a single long incision.  I've got some 6g 75mm piercing needles here that would do the job (that's assuming that the bulb/needle segment is less than 3.7mm in diameter, though).  There's also the possible risk of damaging the silicone while feeding the bulb into the needle.  Hmmm...
  6. Very cool concept, I would definitely like to get my hands on one (or a few) to play with
  7. Is it able to be switched to an RFID for longer range?
  8. @aviin the size of the LED on the end of the wire is 0.8x0.7x1mm, that will increase once coating is applied, but it should still be less than 2x2x2mm.
    The antenna is 11x7x0.5mm

    In terms of how it could be implanted, personally I think you could make an incision ~1cm long, then make a ~2cm deep pocket. Then use a blunt 14 gauge rode/needle to open a tunnel under the skin, and then push the 2^3mm LED down to the end of the tunnel.
    At least, that's how I'd do it, but what you suggested would work too.

    ps: you would want to make sure you have the LED facing upwards, so make sure you have a NFC device handy to test the light before putting in the stitches.

    @Meanderpaul  possibly/probably, the reason I went with NFC is because 1: these compact antennas with built in resisters already exist 2: they work with phones, which LF RFID wouldn't.

    @ChilliEye although it would be possible to use a glass tube to encase the LED and wire, I think having a tube that long under the skin would be uncomfortable and likely to break. These will be coated in flexible silicone.

    Also, I guess I didn't make it clear, but I'm not charging anything for these, they are just a test/prototype, I just thought it's a cool idea, and if people want to try it out, I'll give away a few and see how well they work. DIY silicone coating is great to make fast/cheap-esh prototypes, but I'd want to have them professionally coated if I were going to charge money for them.

  9. That's what I meant, that it is impractical, it does sound like I don't think it would fit in a glass tube though.

    Is that kind of silicone safe long term?

    I'd try one if it wouldn't need to be removed.
  10. @ChilliEye the silicone I'm using, this stuff, is certified as safe for long term implantation, yes, however I'm not an expert on coating processes, so in the interests of safety I recommend not leaving it in long term.
  11. There are tiny tiny smd inductors, like 2mm cubes. Once i soldered 4 of them into a line and powered a LED from my external HDD's 125kHz RFID reader. A bigger antenna helps with power and usable range but for a tiny LED and the rather high NFC frequency you may get away with smaller antenna coils.
  12. Sounds all right to me.
  13. @ThomasEgi hmmm that's pretty cool, I know of the smd inductors, but I hadn't thought of using them as an RFID antenna, that's pretty cool.
  14. I had a go at casting the antenna in silicone. In some ways it worked well, but as you can see the edges are very rough where I trimmed away excess silicone, for the real ones I will need to make a mold to ensure smooth edges.
  15. Hey Alex,

    funny, I ordered some of these on aliexpress a week ago because I had the same idea :). If you use something other than your phone as a reader, can you get a better range? (My knowledge about RFID is … very limited.)

    Since these are nail stickers, I guess they are not available with bigger coils, which would be another solution to the range problem.

    About the coating, I was going to ask Samppa, but I don't know how much more professional it would be if it's only for 3-5 prototypes. So maybe your coating is good enough for now :).

  16. nice!
  17. now THAT is a beautiful post to wake up to on a Friday Morning.
  18. Awesome. I ordered some of these doodads when I saw them here. I have no intention of implanting mine but knowing how bright they really are and Alex's picture is pretty exciting.
  19. I like this. :3 

    Very nice work 
  20. I cut away excess silicone to make it smaller, and am now soaking it in saline for a couple of days, hopefully if there are any holes in the silicone it will start to rust and become noticeable. 

    The light in this pic is much fainter because the signal has to go through the thick glass.
  21. This is complete awesomeness
  22. Completely dreaming here, but it'd be cool to use something similar to this for bioluminescent communication in the future. Somewhere in the facial region. Sort of like an advanced "blushing".
  23. ^ I want this. So much.
  24. ok, so it's been soaking for a couple of days. it seems fine, no rusting of the components, and no noticeable degradation of the silicone. This is as expected since I'm using certificated implant silicone, but always best to test just in case.

    @aviin you were the first one to volunteer to test it. Do you still want to? 
    I'm not guaranteeing it's safe, but I don't think it's too risky either. The silicone is safe for long term implantation, and it's pretty unlikely to rupture since it's very flexible. and even if it it did break, the components are not particularly toxic. The only real concern I have with it is that silicone is not very smooth, so there is a risk of fouling. 
    either way, I'll understand if you don't want to test it.   
  25. If this works out could this be used for wiring two implements together? Mainly the wiring not shredding the silicon.
  26. @JohnDoe no
  27. @JohnDoe, I think that there was a thread from a while back that talked about subdermal wiring. Mainly the connectors that could be used to attach two different modules in-situ, were discussed if I can recall correctly. 
    I believe that the general consensus was that some sort of subdermal wiring would be helpful in the future.

     That in order to make things play nice with all of your squishy bits that the wires would be sitting in a sort of zigzag pattern, and be coated individually in a layer of silicon. That way they would be free to move around a bit, and wouldn't shred anything, or mess with anything they shouldn't be.

    If I remember, I will put the link to the discussion. I probably won't, but another member may be able to oblige.
  28. Yea that's why I asked, I also believe that the issue with the zig zag was tissue damage from stretching back and forth. The end result was that it would need to be a gel/fluid with a silicon insulatior. I was just making sure this didn't suggest we over thought it. Ehh never hurts to ask....
  29. how long is it?  it looks like itd be a few inch long incision to implant, right?
Displaying comments 1 - 30 of 122