Science is becoming more bizarre by the day. Now here’s a concept that’s absolutely unheard of- the implantation of microchips in the skin! These tiny chips have been recently developed and are designed to change the way humans manage their everyday chores and activities.
Reports from Sweden suggest that some workers have already volunteered to get chip implantations in their hands. This may make certain tasks simpler and also minimize the bulk of personal things that need to be carried by employees to work. For instance, a hand-implanted microchip could replace the cards and keys that often clutter your pockets. Fascinating!
While the concept seems to be quite exciting and innovative, it is also marred by some controversy. Critics are questioning the personal safety risk accompanying the use of these chip implantations.
How it works
Biohax is a Sweden-based company specializing in the injection of tiny microchips under humans’ skins. The founder of the company, Osterlund, informs that it is possible to program these microchips to communicate with other network devices such as electronic-lock doors, speakers, and coffee machines. This is helpful in several different ways. For instance, you can easily wave a hand before the door instead of using the key card.
The microchips (as tiny as a rice grain) are inserted into the skin via a syringe. The insertion takes place between your index finger and thumb and communication between the chips and other devices in near proximity takes place wirelessly. You could compare this to how Bluetooth works. NFC or Near Field Communication is also utilized by payment systems such as Apply Pay.
Swedish company uses skin implanted microchips for employees
In April 2017, Epicenter, a company based in Sweden, implanted microchips in approximately 150 employees. This was done so that supervisors could keep a track of the frequency and duration of toilet breaks.
The employees volunteered to get the microchips implanted for this tracking project. According to Patrick Mesterton, Epicenter’s chief executive and co-founder, the microchips implanted into workers’ hands would help simplify life in different ways. The radiofrequency detection chip would allow them to use doors and office technologies such as photocopiers without any physical movement. Employees would even be able to pay for their lunch meal at the cafeteria more conveniently.
Mesterton further informed that the functionality of the microchips is not limited to offices alone. You could use it to book airline tickets and at the local gym. Hence, it eliminates the need to have multiple communication devices.
Privacy risk related to skin-inserted microchips
Biohax was invited to the TechDays Conference hosted by Microsoft in Sweden in 2016. The company was asked to implant microchips in a few conference speakers and some attending Microsoft executives, reports Osterlund.
It is true that scientists have been implanting tiny chips in animals for the past several years. This has often helped in finding lost pets and monitoring endangered species. In fact, chip implant in dogs became a compulsory practice in the United Kingdom in 2016.
However, this does not imply that these microchips have gained 100 percent acceptance in the human race. There are some obvious concerns related to security. Opponents of the new technology suggest that if the implanted microchips are hacked, it would be extremely easy to detect the individual’s location and the time spent in a specific place. It could also lead to the leaking of vital information about health, work and personal accounts if they are saved on the microchip.
Implantation of microchips into human skin is a fairly new concept and companies are still assessing its pros and cons for long-term use.