A chip implant – would you be interested? Part 2

The days before departure to Malmö and my very own chip implant, I am filled with anticipation. On the way to the 2015 edition of Øredev developer conference, I start to wonder if it’s going to be painful. Curiosity and pain usually doesn’t go well in symbiosis and the fact that the conference is held at the Slagthuset (the slaughter house) doesn’t calm me much at all...

A full day’s workshop begins…

First up amongst the speakers is Mr. Hannes Sjöblad from Bionyfiken. He explains the advantages of a chip implant under your skin. “What do you do before you leave the house today? You go through your pockets to check for keys, wallet and your mobile phone etc. Imagine if you instead could have electronic keys, together with all your credit cards inside a chip that you always carry with you. A refugee doesn’t have to carry things that might be stolen. This is the future we see ahead of us.” Says Hannes. “And imagine the benefits of not having to remember all pin codes. There are better things for your brain to think about.” Other concrete conveniences are that the chip gives a true personal identification. For example, if you own a gun, there’s a risk that children or a thief comes by this and might cause harm, but with a chip you can lock the weapon to be used only with your identification...
 
Then Mr. Patrick Lanhed from DigitasLBi Sweden took over the platform. He informed us that at the moment one can only charge the chip implant with one kind of data at the time. But this is something they are working at, so it will be more useful. He showed us how he unlocked his PC with his NFC chip implant. He also displayed how to make bit coin payments with these personal chip implants.

The group who was chipped during Tuesday. Photo Pär Sikö

Time for inserting the chip…

There was a short question time about how secure it is to insert the chip under the skin. Questions like “is it possible for the chip to wonder around the body, for example to the brain?” “Are there risks of infection?”
 
The answer to these questions was: No. The chip doesn’t move around, but you could move it a bit by pressing it. There have been no infections so far and as the chip is encapsulated in glass, the body will accept it.
 
Then the moment we all had been waiting for: live chipping. It was Mr. Jowan Österlund, a piercing expert who runs the company Biohax International who would be making the inserts of the chips. He welcomed us who were willing to get a chip with the words: “Hereby I wish to make you all a part of the future.”
 
As an answer to my concerns about pain, I can just say that it wasn’t worse than taking a blood test from your arm. There were twelve of us who inserted chip implants during the Tuesday, but after Wednesday the number increased to sixty four in total.

An afternoon devoted to hacking workshops.

The afternoon started with Mr. Theo Franzen from Fidesmo showing us how to build apps for NFC. As an example he showed us an ID reader and a drink calculator. The advantages with their plastic cards in credit card size verses our chip implants are that they are able to contain more information. But with the speed of technology, there will probably be new chips with a larger memory capacity. The chip implant we had inserted can only contain 868 bytes. The day finished with a workshop about payments with bit coins using the chip implant. Unfortunately we had a train to catch and couldn’t participate.
 
So now I am a member of the exclusive line up of about 10,000 with a chip implant. For the moment mostly a fun gimmicks. But I am looking forward to the next generation of chip implants and the time to upgrade. So if we meet, you will be able to have a digital business card to your mobile phone from my chip implant in my hand. (Only working with an Android and with Windows. Apple has locked its NFC to only communicate with their own products for now.)