Lost your keys again? Get an implant

April 26, 2017 | 13:00
Lost your keys again? Get an implant
Lost your keys again? Get an implant
What sounds like something coming straight from a bad science fiction movie is actually being done routinely in Sweden at the start-up hub Epicenter. Here employees are offered an electronic implant instead of a smartcard to open doors and buy a dose of coffee. According to the hub’s CEO it is mainly a matter of convenience as it does away with cards and keys.

The implants are similar to those used to label pets or to track parcels, and are injected in the fleshy part of the hand between the thumb and the index. The tags are passive and are read using NFC technology. They are safe, but, unlike cards or keys, the carrier of the chip cannot forget his/her implant at home or lose it in the train, nor can it be stolen. This implies that, at least in theory, a tagged employee could be tracked anywhere he/she goes, from copier to toilet.

Although it is easy to imagine all sorts of privacy issues, the employees wearing tags do not worry too much. Normal, they are volunteers; nobody is obliged to get tagged. Epicenter is not the only company to offer this service to its employees, apparently Belgian company NewFusion uses similar access control techniques.

Photo: public domain
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