Good Day Utah


Utah man implants Tesla key and other chips into hands

Posted at 8:32 AM, Dec 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-22 10:32:32-05

SPRINGVILLE - Imagine being able to unlock doors or a car with just a wave of your hand. Well that's exactly what one Utah man can now do, thanks to some tech under his skin.

Ben Workman is one of a few people around the world who are turning to cybernetic implants. Simply speaking, they're different kinds of computer chips that let you do different things.

With the four chips he has in his hands, Workman can unlock his Tesla, unlock doors at his work in Provo, log on and off of his computer, and share contact information using the same tech that's used for Apple Pay and Google Pay.

You may be wondering what would inspire someone to do something like this.

Workman says, "In all reality, it was experimentation and curiosity."

The process to get the chips into his hands wasn't as simple as his motivation though.

"On the first two, I actually didn`t have anyone. I tried going to a veterinarian, a doctor, a piercing studio, no one would do it," says Workman.

He ended up getting a family member to do it for him.

Workman says, "To get them in, they come in syringes, just place them under the skin and pop the tags out."

The Tesla key required a bit more work, so Ben managed to convince a piercing studio to help him, but they weren't too keen on the idea at first.

"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," says Workman.

Workman also has a magnet in his left hand.

He says, "It doesn`t have any interesting functionality besides magic tricks and fun stuff [...] I play tricks on people who don`t know I have it in my hand. I try and convince them a banana is the key and then I hold a banana up and [the chip] unlocks the door."

Whether it's a practical joke or practicality, Workman says he's excited to see what he'll be able to do next.

Ben says the next step for him would be to be able to pay for things using just his hands, so no credit cards or smartphone, just a chip in his hand.