Business Traveller (Middle East) - - Business In -

atrick Mester­ton has a mi­crochip em­bed­ded in his hand. The chief ex­ec­u­tive of Epi­cen­tre, Stock­holm’s first “house of in­no­va­tion”, he was one of 60 mem­bers to vol­un­tar­ily have RFID (ra­dio fre­quency iden­ti­fi­ca­tion) tags im­planted into their bod­ies last year. The size of a grain of rice, they are in­serted un­der the skin with a sy­ringe.“It hurt,” Mester­ton says.

The mi­crochip works like a con­tact­less debit card or of­fice ID pass. With the swipe of a hand, mem­bers of the 8,000 sqm Epi­cen­tre co-work­ing hub can pay for snacks from vend­ing ma­chines, open elec­tronic se­cu­rity doors and ac­ti­vate pho­to­copiers.“Every quar­ter we do a ‘chip and beer’ event so mem­bers can use our sys­tems,” Mester­ton says.“For ex­am­ple, by us­ing your chip you can print on-de­mand, in­stead of sen­si­tive doc­u­ments com­ing out when you aren’t there.”

De­vel­oped by Swedish bio­hack­ing group BioNy­fiken, each im­plant has a unique bi­nary num­ber that can sync with an in­fi­nite num­ber of read­ers. As the tech­nol­ogy be­comes more wide­spread, peo­ple will be able to gain ac­cess to their lo­cal gym, buy a sand­wich from a nearby café, or send a vir­tual busi­ness card to a client’s smart­phone. There will be no need for credit cards, keys, ID passes, metro tick­ets or PINs.

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