A self-declared “cyborg” has been fined after he was unable to produce his travel card on request – because it had been implanted in his hand.
The 34-year-old man, whose legal name is Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, had the chip from the card inserted under his skin by a piercing expert in 2017.
The NFC chip was taken from an Opal travel card – used to get around Sydney and similar to London’s Oyster card.
He had it coated in bio-compatible plastic before it was implanted.
However, when travelling on the Sydney Trains system, Mr Meow-Meow was unable to produce the card for a ticket inspector – who reportedly said “Wow, that’s crazy!” when he showed her the implant.
Although the inspector’s card reader confirmed Mr Meow-Meow had tapped in before boarding, he was convicted of attempting to travel without a ticket.
The ‘cyborg’ pleaded guilty to being unable to produce his Opal card and was fined A$220 (£122) and ordered to pay A$1,000 (£556) costs.
Mr Meow-Meow told the media he was disappointed to be fined and intended to explore other ways in which he could use an implanted chip to tap in and out of the transport network.
“New technology can be scary if you don’t understand it,” Mr Meow-Meow said.
“People have been scared of lots of technologies when they come along.
“This is the next evolution from going from paper tickets to Opal cards to something which means we don’t have to actually carry anything at all.”