In Sweden, some people don’t need to worry about fumbling with their phone to present a Covid passport.
Because they can have it implanted under their skin.
That’s what’s proposed by Epicenter, a company specialising in subedermal microchips the size of a grain of rice.
The firm has showcased an implant capable of storing a Covid passport that can then be read by any device using the near-field communication (NFC) protocol.
It’s not just Covid passports that can be stored on the chips. Things like office IDs, buss passes or gym memberships can all be inserted into the body.
‘Implants are very versatile technology that can be used for many different things, and right now it is very convenient to have Covid passport always accessible on your implant,’ Epicenter’s chief disruption officer Hannes Sjoblad told Ruptly.
‘In case your phone runs out of battery, it’s always accessible to you. So of course, that’s how we use this technology today, next year we are going to use it for something else,’ he added.
Like other countries, Sweden is taking steps to stop the onslaught of a new wave of coronavirus thanks to the Omicron variant.
At the beginning of December, the Swedish government announced Covid passports will be required at any event of more than 100 people.
According to digital cultures researcher Moa Petersen, around 6,000 people in the country have so far had a chip inserted in their hands.
That’s not to say they’ve all gone out and got their Covid passports loaded into their hands – but they’ve already got a microchip inside them for one purpose or another.
The chips are implanted either in the arm (as shown above) or between the thumb and forefinger. And Sjoblad says the process is 100% reversable.
Could we see the same kind of thing happen in the UK?
Steven Northam certainly thinks so. He’s the director of the UK’s leading human technology implant specialists, BioTeq.
‘In 10-15 years, microchipped humans will be an everyday occurrence,’ he previously told Metro.co.uk.
BioTeq offers patrons a choice of either NFC-based implants or RFID (radio frequency ID) ones. And if you’re curious, you can book yourself in for one right through its website.
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