After getting a rice grain sized microchip inserted into her hand for unlocking her office door, a Swedish woman can stop worrying about losing her work keys.
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.