Employees of Swedish office complex, Epicenter, are having microchips inserted into their hands which allow them to use the photo copier, open doors, and even pay for lunch, all with the simple wave of a hand.
The microchips, called RFID (radio-frequency identification) are the size of a grain of rice. These tiny chips store personal security information which can be transmitted over short distances to special receivers, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent with the BBC, traveled to Sweden and documented the process of having the microchip embedded into his own skin.
According to Cellan-Jones the process involved first having the skin between his thumb and index finger massaged and some disinfectant rubbed in. Cellan-Jones was then instructed to take a deep breath while the chip was inserted. He said there was a moment of pain - not much worse than any injection.
This micro chipping project is being overseen by Swedish bio-hacking group BioNyfiken. Chief disruption officer of Epicenter and member of BioNyfiken, Hannes Sjoblad, says he wants to test out the chips and understand the technology before big governments or companies decide everyone should be chipped, as reported by Popular Science.
"We already interact with technology all the time," Sjoblad tells Cellan-Jones of BBC. "Today it's a bit messy - we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn't it be easy to just touch with your hand? That's really intuitive."
Cellan-Jones reports that his chip was not all that intuitive. He said he had to twist his hand into an unnatural position to make the photocopier work. Now back in Britain, with the chip still implanted, Cellen-Jones claims his hand is a bit sore and the chip not all that useful, according to the BBC.
In 1999 Professor Kevin Warwick, had a chip implanted into his nervous system and was able to control a robot arm by using thought power, according to the Daily Mail. It is hoped the chip can one day help amputees and victims of paralysis.
Last year, another man, Australian Ben Slater, had the RFID chip (same one currently being used by BioNyfiken) implanted because he is interested in technology and wants to generate discussion, the Daily Mail reports. Slater’s favorite feature of the chip is that he can pass all his contact information to any phone that has NFC (near field communication). Slater also enjoys being able to open doors and turn lights on in his house by simply waving his hand.