- Title: No key? No problem. Sweden festival implants microchips beneath the skin
- Date: 18th September 2019
- Summary: VARIOUS OF MESTERTON SCANNING COLLEAGUE'S HAND WITH MOBILE PHONE SMARTPHONE SCREEN SHOWING CHIP DATA
- Embargoed: 2nd October 2019 11:48
- Keywords: Wireless technology Sweden Gather festival microchips beneath the skin chips chipping party Near Field Communication NFC technology
- Location: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN/ BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN/ BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: Sweden
- Topics: Information Technologies / Computer Sciences,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA005AX6QQU3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Key fobs and wireless technology cards could be a thing of the past, if a recent "chipping party" in Stockholm is anything to go by.
At the recent Gather innovation conference in the Swedish capital, people volunteered to have a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip implanted in one of their hands.
In a relatively painless procedure, the chips were implanted under skin between their index finger and thumb using a syringe-like device.
One such volunteer was retail technology company Retail Tech X founder and CEO, Alex Baker, who wanted it to replace his gym and railway cards. He said he was not worried about data security.
"Since I learned recently that it's a passive chip, I'm not that worried about that. I mean, I should be more worried about the data that my smartphone is leaking on a daily basis," he said.
"I'm going to see in more ways how I can actually use it in my daily life. But it's definitely a starting platform for new things," he added.
NFC chips can be found in smartphones and smartwatches and are used to connect with other technology wirelessly.
The implant chips will enable wearers to operate them as loyalty cards, fobs for building access and to pay for public transport.
Users can also connect them to their smartphones via an app. This will allow them to upload data to the chips, such as links to websites.
Hannes Sjoblad, co-founder of Dsruptive Augmentation Agency, a company that develops the technology, said it also has potential in the field of health.
"Think of them as a Fitbit under your skin, where you can have real-time input, on all the different functions and data processes that is going on in your body. That for me will be a breakthrough in terms of human health," he said.
The trend of implanting chips has been growing. In 2017 a Wisconsin vending machine company offered its employees a chance to have a chip implanted in their hands which could be used to buy snacks, log in to computers or to use the copy machine.
And in February this year a man volunteered to have a chip inserted under his skin live on stage at a trade fair in Barcelona.
Edgar Pons said he decided to have the radio frequency identification (RFID) chip implanted because it contained credentials to open the door to his house.
(Production: Philip O'Connor, George Sargent)
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