He’s Got the Whole World in His Hand

A technology entrepreneur has had an AI-based RFID chip embedded in one hand, allowing him to store data, pay for goods and share content.
Published: June 20, 2023

The human imagination is boundless, and the progression at which it allows our species to advance is geometric. Consider for a moment that the first electric cell was created in 1800, and that electricity was introduced into people’s homes in the late 19th century. The telegraph was unveiled in 1844, the telephone in 1876, the light bulb in 1880 and the television in 1927. Research into atomic power followed from the 1930s to the 1950s. Then, in the 1970s, mankind created personal computers, the Global Positioning System and the earliest form of the Internet—and disco, but your mileage may vary on that one.

In the decades since, humans have developed digital cameras, Web browsers, flatscreen TVs, social media, GPS-based navigation systems, smartphones, tokenization, cryptocurrency, streaming content, the Human Genome Map, 3D printing, virtual reality, augmented reality, touchscreen glass, and most recently generative artificial intelligence (AI) such as ChatGPT, Bard and DALL-E. In a remarkably short span of time, we’ve gone from riding horses and recognizing electricity as a possible power source to creating robots with human faces and having friendly, amusing conversations with AI chatbots.

Rich HandleyThink about that for a moment. It’s estimated that the first human ancestors appeared on Earth around six million years ago, with modern humans arriving 200,000 years ago. So it took us 5.8 million years to evolve from earlier species to our current form, then another 200,000 to figure out that the lightning in the sky could let us read at night. And somewhere within that enormous span of time, an unusually bright early human touched fire and realized “Ow, that’s hot. I’ll bet I could fry an egg with that.”

Yet within a mere two centuries, we’ve advanced from steam power to being able to announce “Alexa, play 1980s new wave,” “Siri, what’s the weather like today in New York?” and “Hey, Google, turn on the light.” That rapid level of advancement has resulted in technologies like radio frequency identification, Near Field Communication, Bluetooth Low Energy, digital twins and other Internet of Things-based innovations—and that’s just a prologue to what’s coming down the line.

I’ve written in the past about how a Tesla owner implanted an NFC chip in his hand, enabling him to lock and unlock his vehicle without having to carry a key, card or fob (see Automated Car Starting at the Wave of a Hand). I’ve noted how a fan of the Bruce Willis action movie Die Hard created an RFID-enabled prop replica of the high-tech access card used by the film’s villains (see RFID Dies Hard). And I’ve discussed how a biohacker paid to have his wrist permanently inked with the QR code in his Tesco card, and how other individuals have used implanted RFID technologies to make their lives easier and more automated (see RFID Use Is Limited Only by Imagination).

The latest example is French tech entrepreneur, educator and author Ouali Benmeziane, the founder of WebCongress, who has had a combined AI and RFID implant embedded in his hand, allowing him to store data, pay for goods and share content. In a recent Newswires article (see Ouali Benmeziane, First Ever Human Chipped with an A.I RFID Device), writer Camila Giraldo hailed Benmeziane as “the first human in history to embrace the cutting-edge combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, with an innovative implant in his hand.”

Ouali Benmeziane has had a combined AI and RFID implant embedded in his hand.

Ouali Benmeziane has had a combined AI and RFID implant embedded in his hand.

As Giraldo noted, “This groundbreaking achievement marks a significant milestone in the ever-evolving relationship between humans and technology.” The AI chip is powered by machine learning algorithms, the writer explained, enabling Benmeziane “to enhance his cognitive abilities and access a vast wealth of information and features.” The RFID implant, meanwhile, provides convenience and efficiency in the inventor’s day-to-day activities, allowing him to unlock doors, make payments and verify his identity with a wave of his hand.

It’s unclear whether or not he truly is the first, considering the individuals discussed in my above-linked articles, but that isn’t really the point—it’s a major achievement either way, and it will lead to a whole new era of technological boundary breaking. Benmeziane quite correctly stated in the article, “This is just the beginning of a new era where humans and technology coexist symbiotically. I believe this integration of AI and smart devices will shape a future where humans can achieve unprecedented feats and effortlessly navigate the digital landscape.”

The combination of RFID and AI technologies will have an enormous impact on security, transportation, healthcare and other industries, no doubt ushering in a more connected future for all of us. The next time you relax in your smart home, voice-activate your smart lighting and environmental controls, tell your phone to play the music of your choice, and enjoy some Web-surfing downtime with your laptop, iPad or smart watch, be sure to ask ChatGPT about it. The futuristic world predicted in Back to the Future Part II has arrived (see In the Year 2015), and the AI revolution has begun. Are you ready for it?

Rich Handley is the editor of RFID Journal and has been with the company since 2005. Outside the RFID world, Rich has authored, edited or contributed to numerous books about pop culture. You can contact Rich via email.