Ready for a cash in­jec­tion?

Mi­crochip in hand al­lows you to pay for goods

7 Days in Dubai - - GITEX TECH WEEK 2016 - By Shoshana Ke­dem @B-Shosh

It might sound like some­thing from a dystopian sci­ence fic­tion fan­tasy but you could soon be able to pay for goods and ser­vices with a mi­crochip that is embed­ded in your hand, ac­cord­ing to Eti­salat of­fi­cials.

The UAE tele­coms gi­ant un­veiled new in­jectable mi­crochips, which store all your credit card, ID and busi­ness card data in­side, for the first time in the Mid­dle East at GI­TEX 2016 in Dubai.

The tech­nique is called bio-hack­ing, where an alien de­vice is embed­ded on the back of the hand be­tween the thumb and fore­fin­ger us­ing a spe­cial sy­ringe, med­i­cal tat­too artist Hazim Naori told 7DAYS.

“We clean the skin with sani­tiser and af­ter this we put the marks ex­actly where we want to pierce it,” he said.

“We in­sert the nee­dle un­der the skin with a part of the need that pushes it in, and that’s where it set­tles and it needs a week or two to heal.”

Naori per­formed the im­plant for the first time on October 7 on Ge­orge Held, from Eti­salat’s In­no­va­tion team.

Speak­ing about the im­plan­ta­tion, he said: “It’s like a pierc­ing, it doesn’t hurt, but it feels a bit un­com­fort­able for the first day.

“The bio-hack­ing im­proves and en­hances your body and will be not just a wear­able de­vice, but a de­vice within your­self. “You can­not re­place or lose it, if you have an ac­ci­dent it’s still with you.”

Held warned, though, that be­fore it can be com­mer­cially launched, de­ci­sions need to be made on what role it will play in so­ci­ety.

“There is no le­gal­ity is­sue here. We al­ready have agree­ments with Emi­rates ID and Visa and we is­sue a credit card with it through Eti­salat, we have rights to is­sue those,” Held ex­plained to 7DAYS.

He re­vealed that fi­nal costs for the pro­ce­dure are not con­firmed yet but it is ex­pected to cost Dhs500 ($100) for both the in­jec­tion and the gad­get it­self.

Asked if the in­for­ma­tion stored on the chip could be hacked with the right equip­ment, Naori said us­ing the card would still re­quire the nec­es­sary au­then­ti­ca­tions.

“We have to in­ter­na­tion­ally agree on the sys­tem and this is even­tu­ally go­ing to hap­pen, let’s be hon­est,” said Naori.

“Thirty to 40 years ago there were no (bank) cards and now I have a card with all my ID and sim card on it and put it in the ma­chine with­out show­ing any­one my pass­port.

“It's an elec­tronic smart gate. It’s the same thing, in­stead of hav­ing the card you just have it un­der your skin and it ver­i­fies you.”

‘It’s likes a pierc­ing, it doesn’t hurt but it feels a bit un­com­fort­able at first.’ – Ge­orge Held, of Eti­salat’s In­no­va­tion Team

UN­DER THE SKIN: The pro­ce­dure sees a mi­crochip embed­ded into your hand

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