The development of technology has brought people closer to the cyborg era.
A high-tech office called Epicenter in Sweden has implanted chips for its employees. This chip is the size like a grain of rice with very diverse functions. The employees can open the door, use a printer or buy a drink with a wave.
The transplant is done using a special cylinder, the needle is placed between the thumb and forefinger, and then with one click, the microchip is pushed under the skin of the hand. This practice, in theory or practice, turns Epicenter employees into cyborg (creatures that are both biological and artificial).
“The biggest benefit of chip implantation is the convenience”, Patrick Mesterton, Epicenter’s chief executive and co-founder said, “It basically replaces many of the things you usually use, such as credit cards or key”.
This technology is not new, because the chips on each are attached to animal necklaces, or used by many shipping companies to track orders.
Microchip implantation for employees has never been done on a large scale. Epicenter and a number of other companies are pioneers in the production of chips for transplanting into the human body widely.
As with the current technology, chip implantation has raised concerns over security and privacy. The data collected by this chip will indicate the average working time of an staff per day, or what the staff usually buys and eats.
However, the point that makes this chip really different is that it’s not like an ID card or smartphone to replace a door key, once implanted it is hard to separate or deceive it.
“Of course, putting such stuff in the human body is a bold step, even for me,” Mesterton said of his skepticism at the start of the project.
“On the other hand, I think, people have transplanted things into their bodies, such as pacemakers and other same things, to control a person’s heart rate. The implant is much more serious than implanting a small chip that can communicate with the device”, Mesterton said.
Epicenter has more than 100 companies and about 2,000 employees. They started implanting the chip in January 2015. At present, about 150 workers have transplanted.
A Belgian company also offers similar implant services. Some other places in the world, technology enthusiasts have tried to research and apply this technology.
The implant uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology – the same technology used in mobile payments. Once activated, data from the chip will travel to the devices via electromagnetic waves. This data can be read by other devices, because the chip can not read the itself data.
Ben Libberton, a microbiologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said hackers could get a lot of information from these chips. However, with the office employees of Epicenter, this is still a new technology to experience. Epicenter executives often hold chip implanted parties to provide free transplant services to more than 2,000 employees.
The development of technology has brought people closer to the cyborg era, and at the moment, the implantation of machines into the human body is seen as a way to solve many problems of humanity.