Thousands of people in Sweden have futuristic microchips embedded in their skin to perform daily activities and to replace credit cards and cash.
More than 4,000 people have already had a sci-fi-ish chips, the size of a grain of rice, inserted in their hands – the pioneers predict millions will soon join them, as they hope to take it global.
“It’s very ‘Black Mirror’ ‘Swedish scientist Ben Libberton Post said the similarity of the TV series highlighting futuristic scenarios.
Glorifying smartwatches, chips help Swedes to monitor their health and even replace keycards be allowed to enter the offices and facilities.
They have particularly caught on, however, enabling owners to pay in stores with a simple swipe of the hand, a great job in an advanced country that is moving towards the elimination of money.
The microchips were pioneered by the former body piercer Jowan Österlund, who calls the technology “moonshot” – and told Fortune magazine that he was hit by hopeful investors “on every continent except Antarctica.”
“Technology will move in the body,” the Biohax International founder, told the mag.
“I’m sure about that.” Österlund insists the technology is safe – but that did not stop the alarm bells ringing in some fear a link to a doubling in computer crime in the country over the last decade.
Libberton, British scientist based in Sweden, praised “definitely exciting” potential health benefits of accurate health parameters are taken from inside the body.
“I think if Apple could see measure things like blood glucose,” he told The Post.
But he also fears the mass of highly personalized data and how it can be used.
“The problem is, who owns the data?” He asked.
“I get a letter from my insurance company saying premiums going until I know I’m sick?
If I use the chip to buy lunch, go to the gym and go to work, someone will have all of this info for me? “
Libberton added, “is not only the chip, but integration with other systems and data exchange.”
And he fears the Swedes are not giving enough thought to the potential dangers.
People have shown that they are happy to give up privacy for relief,” he said. “Chip is very convenient, so we can accept our data is shared very widely before we know the risks?”
Trend coincides with Sweden’s march toward going cashless in notes and coins that make up only 1 percent of Sweden’s economy.
At the same time, the country has seen a dramatic drop in some crimes – only two bank robberies last year, compared with 110 in 2008.