RFID Chip Implants Required In Epicenter Office Block In Sweden

Ah, the wonders of our modern world. In particular, in the Epicenter office block in Sweden, which requires tenant companies to implant RFID chips in their employees to have full use of the facilities.

(RFID chips needed in office building)

Felicio de Costa, whose company is one of the tenants, arrives at the front door and holds his hand against it to gain entry. Inside he does the same thing to get into the office space he rents, and he can also wave his hand to operate the photocopier.

That's all because he has a tiny RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in his hand. Soon, others among the 700 people expected to occupy the complex will also be offered the chance to be chipped. Along with access to doors and photocopiers, they're promised further services in the longer run, including the ability to pay in the cafe with a touch of a hand.

The whole process is being organised by a Swedish bio-hacking group which was profiled by my colleague Jane Wakefield recently. One of its members, a rather fearsome looking tattooist, inserted my chip.

First, he massaged the skin between my thumb and index finger and rubbed in some disinfectant. The he told me to take a deep breath while he inserted the chip. There was a moment of pain - not much worse than any injection - and then he stuck a plaster over my hand.

Before trying my chip out, I wanted to know more about the thinking behind it. Hannes Sjoblad, whose electronic business card is on his own chip and can be accessed with a swipe of a smartphone, has the title chief disruption officer at the development. I asked him whether people really wanted to get this intimate with technology.

"We already interact with technology all the time," he told me. "Today it's a bit messy - we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn't it be easy to just touch with your hand? That's really intuitive."

Sounds great, doesn't it? Or does it? Fortunately, science fiction authors have been exercising their imaginations and in the process, helping us imagine this future. Which is here. Now.

In the 2014 novel Spark, author John Twelve Hawks details the characteristics of a "Freedom ID" (i.e., an implanted RFID chip):

About a third of the people in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip about the size of a vitamin pill. The chip is usually inserted beneath the skin on the back of the hand, and the procedure leaves a distinctive scar... The chip is detected whenever you take the subway, enter a department story, or walk into a government building...

Also, sf author Neal Stephenson referred to an implanted credit card in his 1995 novel The Diamond Age.

I've written a number of articles on the implantation of RFID tags over the years:

Via BBC.

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Index of related articles:

What is RFID?
How RFID Works
How is RFID used inside a living body?
What can RFID be used for?
Is RFID Technology Secure and Private?
Are There Concerns About How RFID Will Be Used? (Update)
Next-Generation Uses of RFID?
What Are Zombie RFID Tags?
RFID Information Technology Articles
Problems With RFID
Advantages of RFID Versus Barcodes
RFID Glossary
Contactless Credit Card Advantages
Contactless Credit Card Disadvantages

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