Solution for the absentminded? Swede gets microchip key implanted in hand
While attending Sime 2014, a conference on digitalism, the future and the internet in Stockholm, 25-year-old Emilott Latnz volunteered for the unusual procedure, offered for free to willing techies. The implant, which is programmed to open Lantz office door, is designed to stay put for the rest of Lantz’s life.
Though not exactly widespread, human implants have been gaining popularity in Sweden’s biotech community. Backers of the procedure include a group of vocal transhumanists, a movement which explores ways in which humans can go beyond the limitations of the body using developments in science and technology.
"This has very much been an underground phenomenon up until now, but there are perhaps a 100 people with the chip in Sweden," Hannes Sjöblad of BioNyfiken, a Swedish biohacking group which has been hosting “implant parties” in Stockholm over the last few months, was quoted as saying in the Local.
In the last month alone, 50 people involved with the group underwent the procedure.
Similar technology has been used for key tags or pet tracking chips in the past, however, inserting the chip into humans is a novel development that seems to be catching on - at least in some circles.
Earlier this month, the founder of Amsterdam-based bitcoin ATM firm, Mr Bitcoin, Martijn Wismeijer had a tiny chip embedded in between the muscle and skin tissue in his hand in order to keep his digital currency safe, while also providing an in-body alarm clock and built in set of keys.
"I don't feel as though this is the future. This is the present” the Lantz told the Local. “To me, it's weird that we haven't seen this sooner." The self-described nerd, captioned a post of her bandaged hand on Instagram with the hashtags #humanplus and #cyborg among others.
Lantz, who works for IT consultancy firm, Codemill, is enthusiastic about using her new implant to get into work. “I'm super stoked to have had this done,” she said “I can't wait for the property agent to get back to me about letting me into the system so that I can use my chip instead of my keys to get into the office."
Lantz brushed off the concerns of wary friends and family, asserting that the technology was reliable and that people were merely getting touchy because human flesh was involved.
“The technology isn’t new but the subject becomes sensitive just because it’s in the human body,” she said. “I’m not surprised that people think it’s a big deal – it’s not that common yet, but I think it will be. We’re already modifying our bodies, why should this be different?” she added.