PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You’ve heard of them being implanted in dogs so they don’t get lost — now microchips implanted in humans could change the way we tackle everyday tasks, but they could also put our privacy at risk.
In a Stockholm business complex, employees gain access not with key cards, but with the wave of a hand.
“This is something you can use just like a key badge,” said Hannes Sjoblad during a talk at a Copenhagen tech conference.
Sjoblad, who is the Chief Disruption Officer at Epicenter, explained how a microchip implanted in his hand makes his life easier.
It replaces all the keys and cards that used to clutter his pockets.
“I use my chip many times a day, for example, I use it to unlock my smartphone, to open the door to my office,” he said.
He calls himself a biohacker.
“We biohackers, we think the human body is a good start, but there is certainly room for improvement,” said Sjoblad.
The first step in that improvement is getting a microchip about the size of a grain of rice slipped under the skin. Suddenly the touch of a hand is enough to tell the office printer this is an authorized user.
“It felt very scary, but at the same time, it felt very modern,” said a woman who has the chip implanted in her hand.
The microchips are radio frequency identification tags. The same technology widely used in things like key cards. The chips have been implanted in animals for years to help identify lost pets.
Now the technology is moving to humans, but each touch leaves a digital footprint and that can compromise privacy.
Even a dedicated biohacker has concerns.
“It’s very easy to hack a chip implant… so my advice is don’t put your life secrets on a chip implant,” said Sjoblad.
Biohackers predict the next generation of chips will save lives by monitoring health and fitness.