We have seen in movies, read in books, heard about in breakthrough innovations; but 2017 seems to see an increase in the number of companies having a microchip implanted in hands of their employees to make things more convenient at work. This growing trend in bodily implants has been gaining momentum as we learnt at the recently held ‘’Recode’’ event where industry leaders spoke of increased investments in such programmable chips to almost turn the “internet of things into the internet of us” as vouched by Jowan Ousterland, founder of Biohax, a Swedish company, a pioneer in this area.
Many workers in Sweden, in particular, have been voluntarily electing to have a rice grain size chip implanted in their bodies to help them unlock doors, operate printers and communicate with many devices which use Near Field Communication (NFC). Microchip implantation has proved its usefulness in the past years as scientists have used this to help track down lost pets or monitor endangered species, as far as leading to a mandatory practice of microchipping dogs in UK in 2016.
This trend, though gaining popularity, in what can be termed as only a technology test or a biohacking experiment for convenience, most of the adoption is voluntary, as there still are challenges in widespread adoption due to skepticisms prevailing around complete privacy intrusions and easy access to any data for misuse by hackers, who could exercise complete control. However, this niche, now popular in small digital hubs like Epicenter of Stockholm, will see increased traction as more companies strive to research in this area.
It is not just the microchip implants which is steering ahead, but also the methods and gears by which these devices can be embedded. Firms like Dangerous Things from Seattle and Grindhouse Wetwear from Pittsburg in the US are focused in this area to bring about all the gear like injections, capsules to insert these under the skin or into your body, and can be accessed in multiple ways even like an LED star which lights up though magnet activation.
Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, a master inventor preparing the world for the future is not far behind with a new company underway called Neuralink, prepared to make implants which will enable human brain and wireless computer interaction a reality. He believes it can enable a certain neural lace between man and machine creating an ultra-intelligent AI and which will power both digital workforce mobility and deep insights across numerous aspects.