In July of last year, Australian molecular biologist and biohacker with the exhausting name Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, 33, (yes, that’s his real name), implanted the chip from his local public transit system card, Sydney’s Opal, beneath the skin in his left hand. (Opal is the equivalent to New York’s Metrocard or London’s Oyster card). The idea was to speed up his commute as he would always have his card on him and wouldn’t have to worry about losing it or fumbling around to find it in a rush. However, Meow-Meow has been tangled in a legal dispute with Sydney’s public transport authorities ever since for not having a ticket. On Friday morning, Meow-Meow pleaded guilty in local court to charges of using public transport without a valid ticket and failing to produce a ticket for transport offices.
Meow-Meow’s chip uses near-field communication technology; it is erased in bio-compatible plastic and was placed under the skin in his hand by a professional piercer. The technology uses electromagnetic radio fields to connect two objects: in this case, Meow-Meow’s hand has to be within one centimeter of the transportation card reader, and then it scans as if he was holding his card on the reader.
"My goal is to have frictionless interaction with technology," said Meow-Meow told ABC News Australia when he implanted the chip. "It gives me an ability that not everyone else has, so if someone stole my wallet I could still get home."
Meow-Meow has also run for the Australian Science Party in the 2016 Australian federal election. He lost, but his impact remained. He’s also advocated for immortality for anyone born after 1950. "Live forever, or die trying. Personally my goal is to achieve escape velocity—that is to increase life expectancy by more than a year per year," Meow-Meow told ABC News last year. "Once you can get to that you are functionally immortal." If Black Mirror season 5 needs some inspiration, they know where to go.
“Meow is a passionate molecular biologist, entrepreneur, and futurist. He believes that the major challenges facing the world currently are solvable through scientific research combined with technological action," the Science Party noted during his candidacy. "He is heavily involved in the democratisation of science through his work in co-creating a network of internationally connected biohackers and physical community laboratories."