A colleague of mine told me about how he saw people using their phones to go through barriers on the Tokyo metro. Maybe it's just me, but I thought that sounded pretty cool! Google revealed that London's Underground system will be getting a similar facility sometime around the end of 2011, maybe. But I can't wait that long! So, I've given it a go myself.
The first step is to get your equipment.
You will need a pre-pay Oyster, some nail varnish remover and a jar with a lid.
A quick trip to a newsagent and Poundland (gotta love that place!) should furnish you with what you need.
I paid £4 (you have to top it up when you buy it, so I stuck a pound on) and got two bottles of nail varnish remover and a jar for £3.
(I already had an Oyster, but I wasn't about to risk losing my monthly travelcard for this slice of foolishness...)
The next step is to put the nail varnish remover and the card into the jar and seal it. Then leave it to soak.
Two hours later (and it need to be at least two hours), it should be ready to come out.
You can see here how the outer layers have come away completely, leaving the important bit, the layer with the chip and aerial intact. Throw the other bits away.
The chip is at the top right and the red lines running around the edge are the aerial which is attached to the chip. I don't know much about these things, so I'm going to assume the aerial needs to be kept intact. The aerial wire is about as thick as a thick hair, so be careful when picking the plastic layer away. If you left it to soak for long enough, it should come away fairly easily. If not, you'll struggle a bit.
When you've finished, you should be left with a chip with a fair bit of red wire attached to it.
Sorry, it's a really bad picture...
The final step is to remove the back of your phone and tape the chip and aerial to the inside of the rear casing and put it back on your phone.
As you can see, I've avoided putting the aerial round the camera part although I'm sure with a little hard work and attention to detail, the aerial would go all the way round the outside edge.
Does it work? Um, I don't know yet! I'll post the result as soon as I know...