Workers at a high-tech Swedish firm are now using implanted radio-frequency identification microchips (RFID) chip to gain access to buildings and the building’s copy machines.
BioNyfiken, a Swedish biohacking group, is responsible of developing and inserting the sub-dermal microchips. According to the group, the devices allow for quicker and more reliable authentication of Epicenter employees. Up to 400 workers will have the option to have one of the small chips inserted into their bodies. While employees can currently only access doors and photocopy machines with the implants, eventually, the microchips may be used to pay for food in the complex’s cafeteria as well as to grant access to private computers.
The tiny capsule is inserted into the skin between the thumb and index finger using a special syringe. Along with a microchip, the capsule also contains a copper antenna coil, a capacitor and a bio-compatible casing made of either glass or polypropylene polymer.
The capsule contains no internal power source and relies on a scanner to provide its charge. When the capsule passes over a scanner, the scanner sends out low-level radio waves. The capacitor next to the microchip sends these electrical currents to the microchip, which then retrieves its information. The microchip stores a unique binary number that acts as a long password. The microchip then uses the antenna to transmit this unique binary code to the scanner.
BioNyfiken’s founder, Hannes Sjoblad, expects the technology to find an increasingly larger market with governments and large tech companies like Google and Facebook. He told the BBC the program underway at Epicenter is essentially preparing us all for a future in which routine implants may become a reality.