A Swedish office block is offering workers the opportunity to have a microchip implanted under the skin of their hands. The radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, about the size of a grain of rice, lets users open doors, swap contact details or use the photocopier, all at the wave of a hand. Matthew Stock reports.
Forget wearable technology, Swedish office worker Lin Kowalska is having it implanted under her skin. A microchip - about the size of a grain of rice - is injected into her hand. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIN KOWALSKA, OFFICE WORKER FROM COMPANY "GIVESOME", SAYING: "It felt pretty scary, but at the same time it felt very modern, very 2015." Instead of ID cards or passcodes, workers who sign up for the implant can now open doors with the wave of a hand. The chip also currently lets workers swap contact details via a smartphone and operate a photocopier. Patrick Mesterton, co-founder of the Epicenter tech hub in central Stockholm, sees plenty of future applications for the implant. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK MESTERTON, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF EPICENTER OFFICE, SAYING: "Some of the future areas of use I think, like anything today where you would use a pin code or a key or a card, so payments I think is one area. I think also for health care reasons that you can sort of communicate with your doctor and you can data on what you eat and what your physical status is." The radio-frequency identification chip is made from pyrex glass and contains an antenna and microchip, with no need for batteries While some workers may feel uneasy at the prospect of literally taking their work home with them, the designers say the chip is completely safe and secure. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK MESTERTON, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF EPICENTER OFFICE, SAYING: "You have your own identification code and you're sending that to something else which you have to grant access to, so there's no one else that can sort of follow you on your ID so to say. It's you who decides who gets access to that ID." The chip is in no way mandatory, and the limited benefits the implant currently offers may put many people off. But with wearable tech becoming more ubiquitous, the merging of biology and technology could represent a growing trend.