Poll: would you wear a microchip implant?
One aspect of technology that has caught the Digital Catapult’s attention recently is biohacking; applying technology to manage and solve issues within the human body.
It may sound futuristic, but examples of biohacking can already be seen around the world. An interesting case can be found in Sweden’s Epicenter Stockholm, a hi-tech office block where staff can choose to have a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) microchip, the size of a grain of rice, implanted in their hand. The chip holds users’ contact details, and allows them to access doors, photocopiers and even pay for food using hand gestures, instead of a swipe card. Here is Hannes Sjoblad, Chief Disruption Officer at Epicenter, giving a demonstration:
Could this technology be a sign of the future? BioNyfiken, the biohacking group leading the initiative, believe that the chips could have huge potential, particularly in the wearable and digital health sectors. They regularly hold implant parties for volunteers willing to be chipped. Even BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones recently visited the Epicenter building and took the plunge to get chipped.
As with all new technologies, there are lots of unanswered questions. Are the microchip implants an invasion of privacy? Are the implants ethical? Could they lead to a ‘surveillance society’ where individuals’ movements are constantly tracked? What happens if the chip deteriorates or becomes obsolete? What are the possible implications if and when commercial companies want to get involved?
The microchip implants have clearly divided opinion, but regardless microchips look set to become big business. Would you get chipped? Let us know by answering our poll:
- Why I want a microchip implant (BBC Future)
- Chips under the skin (ZDNet)
- Pros and cons of inserting a microchip implant into your own body (VICE)
- Human microchipping on rise; researchers warn of ‘surveillance society’ (Washington Times)
This article was previously published on the Digital Catapult blog, you can find the original article here.