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.