Companies begin planting microchips under employees’ skin.


The technology has been around for some years now, but the use of RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips and other beneath-the-skin implants has only recently become more widespread.

A high-tech office complex in Sweden is now offering tenants’ staff the option of having a small RFID chip implanted in one’s wrist that allows certain functions in the building to be performed with a wave of the hand, such as opening doors and operating photocopiers.

Epicenter office block developers are in support of the implanting program, which is being made available through a Swedish bio-hacking group. The group promotes the use of bio-enhancement technology and predicts a future in which sophisticated implant systems will closely monitor a range of inputs from body sensors while interacting with the “internet of things.”

In other words, we will soon have the option of being physically connected to the Internet as well as to an increasingly widespread network of smart devices.

For many, the idea of having an implant containing personal information inserted under the skin is not a welcome option. Not only is there maybe something creepy about the whole idea to begin with, but the fact is that a lot of us feel our privacy and autonomy has been compromised enough already, without voluntarily becoming walking transmitters of our personal data.

Some predict that one day it won’t be a matter of choice, or that the use of implants and other types of bio-enhancement and connectivity will become so commonplace as to be expected, if not required. The fear is that we will lose our freedom and privacy in the process.

Others welcome the prospect of becoming physically connected to the internet of things, such as the bio-hacking group responsible for the office block’s RFID program.

A BBC News feature profiled Hannes Sjoblad, a bio-hacker who organizes “implant parties” where volunteers are implanted:

He is starting small, aiming to get 100 volunteers signed up in the coming few months, with 50 people already implanted. But his vision is much bigger.

Then will be a 1,000, then 10,000. I am convinced that this technology is here to stay and we will think it nothing strange to have an implant in their hand.

Although the RFID chips being used now are capable of little more than opening doors and operating copiers, the potential is far greater. RFID chips will likely evolve into ever-more sophisticated devices, capable of a wide range of interactions.

Already companies are developing technologies that will go a step beyond the already-familiar “wearable” gadgets — examples include a digital tattoo that can be stamped onto skin and can monitor body functions.

It’s certainly easy to imagine that within a few years there will be dramatic advances regarding what this type of technology can do. And since various types of bodily enhancement — bionic limbs, pacemakers and cosmetic surgery — are already commonplace, it stands to reason that many people will have few if any qualms about implants and other bio-hacking tech.

On the other hand, the idea of a central authority having the advantage of direct connections and access to an individual’s physical body with the potential of monitoring GPS position, heart rate, perhaps even brain waves, is frightening to contemplate.

Most of us have embraced the revolutionary technological advances of the past few decades. We’re more connected than ever before, and even if we don’t all agree that this is necessarily a good thing, very few of us would willingly give up our smartphones at this point.

But perhaps we should be extremely careful about making the leap to cyborg status. Is this truly an inevitable and potentially useful tech advancement or is it a step too far?

The time for debate is now, because the technology is already entering the mainstream. And as with most technological revolutions, once it has happened there is little hope of turning back.

Companies Begin Planting Microchips Under Employees’ Skin


I am sure by now, you have all heard of the RFID microchip. Microchips have been around for some time now, but the RFID chips and other under the skin implants have only recently become so widespread.

Companies Begin Planting Microchips Under Employees Skin

Talk about taking your work home with you! A high-tech office in Sweden is implanting its workers with computer chips under the skin in order for them to access the building, a move which ‘biohackers’ says is preparation for a dystopian future when governments and corporations adopt the same technology.

The Epicenter building in Stockholm, which hosts start-up companies as well as the likes of Google and Microsoft, utilizes microchip technology to allow staff to open doors, interact with smartphones, as well as operate equipment.

BBC reporter Rory Cellan-Jones volunteered to be microchipped for the story and had a chip injected into his hand.

According to Hannes Sjoblad, chief ‘disruption officer’ at the office development, the chip will also eventually be used to pay for food in the canteen and replace passwords to access computers.

Sjoblad said people should welcome the chip because it would make their lives “easier,” while also warning that one day governments and corporations could mandate that people be microchipped.

“We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped — the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip,”he said.

In a separate profile piece, Sjoblad seems more welcoming of the idea of everybody being chipped, commenting, “Years ago there was fear over vaccinations and now it seems perfectly normal to have cells injected into us. That is an early example of bio-hacking.”

“We’ve been putting chips in animals for 20 years,” he added.

People being implanted with microchips as a “convenient” way of getting access to secure areas is by no means a new technology.

In 2004, a BBC News reporter also got microchipped for a story about a nightclub in Barcelona where customers use the chip to access VIP areas and pay for drinks.

Also in 2004, Mexico’s attorney general and at least 160 employees in his office were injected with rice grain-sized chips in order to access secure areas of the building.

In January last year, Former DARPA director and now Google executive Regina Dugan promoted the idea of an edible “authentication microchip,” while Google engineering director Scott Huffman says that within five years people will have microphones attached to their ceilings and microchips embedded in their brains in order to perform quicker internet searches.

A 2012 CNN article which speculated about the future of transhumanism predicted that within 75 years, everyone on the planet would have a brain chip implant that would allow their behavior to be controlled by a third party.

The release of Apple’s new ‘Apple Pay’ system last year, which utilizes biometric fingerprints to allow users to make purchases, also prompted fears about the ‘mark of the beast’, a bible verse in Revelations which predicts that “no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark,” which many Christians ascribe to biometric payment technology and implantable microchips.

According to inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, an icon for transhumanists, smartphones will be implanted in the brain within 20 years.

In his 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines, Kurzweil successfully predicted the arrival of the iPad, Kindle, iTunes, You Tube and on demand services like Netflix.

By 2019, Kurzweil forecasts that wearable smartphones will be all the rage and that by 2029, computers and cellphones will be implanted in people’s eyes and ears, creating a “human underclass” who refuse the chip that will be viewed by others as backwards and unproductive because they refuse to acquiesce to the singularity.

watch the video. URL: https://youtu.be/aDzabqO8g1E