Swipe cards are convenient, easy to use and makes life easy for anyone using it; with a single swipe of a card, doors opens, machine operates, etc. Ok, imagine something under your skin that can emulates those tasks! Yep, a new technology is in town, though not so new; it has been used in the past as virtual collar plate for pets, some establishment has used them to locate and track goods also. However, using it on human is fast catching on! Epicenter, a company located in Stockholm in Sweden and a handful of other companies is the first to make use of this technology on human through implants. Epicenter has implanted workers since 2015.
The device is like a grain of rice and is injected harmlessly into the body with a special syringe. The syringe will slide in between the thumb and index finger. They are “passive,” meaning they contain information that other devices can read, but cannot read information themselves. The little device uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, the same as in contactless credit cards or mobile payments. When activated by a reader a few centimetres away, a small amount of data flows between the two devices via electromagnetic waves. One can easily unlock a door by merely waving near it, as was recently demonstrated by 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.” he enthused.
The chips are biologically safe, but there is the issue of privacy and security concerns. For instance, the chips can show the wearer movement, and other important details and unlike company swipe cards or smartphones, which can generate the same data, a person cannot easily separate themselves from the chip.