Question about potential NFC chip implant locations

edited October 2015 in RFID/NFC
So I have this xNT RFID chip from Amal, and my question is: Must they be put in the hand? I have a bit of fat on my midsection and I was wondering if I could put it there, or perhaps my arm. Is there any reason why that wouldn't work?

Also, any suggestions for alternative placement would be welcome.


  • You want it somewhere where it's easy to use and where migration won't cause massive issues - if you put it in your midsection you'll probably lose track of where it is.

    I would stick to the hand.
  • The hand really is ideal for things like the xNT.  The read ranges are so small on chips like that that you'll want to be able to easily present the chip to the reader.  If you're using a phone to read the xNT, that range is even more abysmal.  Putting it in your hand lets you position the chip easily for a reader.

    That having been said, while I have two chips in my hand (xNT and xEM), I do have two other chips in other locations and so can talk a little about that.

    I have a Destron Fearing LifeChip (what Amal now sells as the xBT) in my left forearm.  It sits on the ventral side maybe 3.5 to 4 inches from my wrist (I really should measure the distance at some point...  I sometimes estimate that distance differently, but I assure you the actual distance does not change).  Looking at the ventral side of my arm, it lies just to the right of the palmaris longus tendon.  It has never migrated at all, but this chip does have an antimigration "Bio-Bond" cap, so that might be what keeps it there.  The xNT, without that cap, might migrate, though I doubt it.  The location is not at all good, it turns out, for good temperature readings off that chip (the temperature in your arm varies quite alot based on ambient temperatures).  Depending on what you plan to use your xNT for, it might not be too bad of a spot, but the hand is better, I think.  I will say that reading the chip with my Halo scanner is a breeze in that location, but the read range with that scanner is 10+ centimeters, so almost anywhere in the body wouldn't be hard to scan with that kind of range.  In any case, I've had no complications or problems with this chip, but with so much going on in the arm there, with tendons, nerves, veins, and arteries, it likely isn't the wisest location to implant.

    I have a second LifeChip in my left side just below the armpit.  I've never been able to pin down its exact location, honestly.  It healed without any scar at all, and it's just an overall awkward place to implant in (well, if you're doing it yourself as I did).  The Halo scanner reads it well even just knowing a rough location, and as near as I can tell, it hasn't migrated.  That anti-migration cap, though, likely has alot to do with that stability in this location.  While this location is nothing short of excellent for reading body temperature off of one of these chips (very stable readings from this location), it would not be very good for something like the xNT.  Like the other chips, no complications in this location, but again, there are some major nerves and blood vessels to be aware of when poking around in that location.

    If I'm not mistaken, @Cassox may have implanted a chip in his thigh at one point (I could be wrong), someone implanted one in their upper arm (and that was the preferred location for the ill-fated VeriChip, I believe), and @trybalwolf has one between the shoulder blades on the back.  Maybe these people will chime in with more information.

    I will mention that I read a study awhile back that was done to assess the effectiveness of a few different chips (HomeAgain TempScan, Destron Fearing LifeChip, and BMDS IPTT-300) for identification and temperature readings in rhesus monkeys.  They put them in the monkeys' backs.  They had some issues with missing and failed chips.  Might be an interesting read for others, so here's a link:
  • edited October 2015
    Yeah, I have three microchips currently, none of which are located in either of my hands. Two in my wrist/forearm, and one that is implanted between my shoulder blades.

    The chip between my shoulder blades (one inch to the left of the spine), is an xNT and hasn't given me any problems. Implanting it was painless and it completely healed (to the point of having no pain when touched/probed) within a week. The thickness of the skin in the area does make reading and writing rather hit and miss, though as I do not currently use it for much, that is ok. I would recommend the location more for 125kHz tags than NFC.

    The forearm chips are a second xNT, and a T5577 (practically the same thing as an xEM) that I purchased from @AlexSmith ( I find the placement to be a great location as it allows me to easily unlock my phone, share contact info with people I meet, and tap the tag to the NFC readers that are part of a local rewards program. The thin skin on the wrist aids in ease of reading and writing.The 125kHz T5577 chip doesn't currently have a use for me, though I will be cloning my college ID card to it once Alex makes the HID/EM4 cloners he has spoken of recently available on his website.

    here is a pic to provide an idea of the wrist chips' placement. The chips are underneath the center pads of the two paw prints closest to my hand.


  • trybalwolf, I'm curious whether the chips were implanted under the tattoos or the tattoos over the chips.
  • Actually both. I had the NFC chip implanted first (top left), then had the tattoo done. Overall, the tattooing process went well though I did notice an odd sensation as the vibrations from the needle were spread over a larger area by the chip. 

    The 125kHz rfid chip was implanted after the tattoo had healed. 
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