Imagine looking at a syringe as it slides in between your thumb and index finger, then click! In just a blink of an eye you're not the same person anymore (hyperbole); a microchip has just been injected in your hand! Are you a cyborg now?!
Well, that's not so far anymore. No need for keys and credit cards for different companies and tech enthusiasts are giving us a viable option- oh yes, microchips- implantable microchips. Soon we might be able buy our coffees or pizzas with just a wave of a hand. How does that sound?
Swedish startup hub Epicenter, the home to more than 100 companies and some 2,000 workers, has been implanting volunteers with these microchips the size of grains of rice since January 2015. "The biggest benefit I think is convenience," said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter. "It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys."
Well, the technology in itself (microchip) is not new, only that it has never been use to tag employees. You know, we've been using it as virtual collar plates for pets or as a tracking device for deliveries. But. never. in. a. human. being.
And as with most new technologies, the chip can raise issues on security and privacy. While it's biologically safe, we never know when will we be needing it separated from our body. (Not to mention the stalkers.)
Ben Libberton, a microbiologist at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute, says hackers could get a lot of information from it and that these are just one of the piles of ethical dilemmas it'll be facing as it gets more and more sophisticated.
"The data that you could possibly get from a chip that is embedded in your body is a lot different from the data that you can get from a smartphone," he says. "Conceptually you could get data about your health, you could get data about your whereabouts, how often you're working, how long you're working, if you're taking toilet breaks and things like that." So where will that go? Who will use that? And what for?
I guess we all have to find out just yet.