Thousands of Swedes are having microchips implanted into their bodies so that they don’t need to carry key cards, IDs, and even train tickets.
About 3,000 people in Sweden have inserted a microchip — which is as tiny as a grain of rice — under their skin over the past three years, Agence France-Presse reported. The technology was first used in the country in 2015.
That might sound like an Orwellian nightmare to some but in Sweden it is a welcome reality for a growing number who favours convenience over concerns of potential personal data violations.
The implants have already helped replace the need for a host of daily necessities. Ulrika Celsing’s microchip, which is in her hand, has replaced her gym card and office key card. When she enters her workplace, the 28-year-old simply waves her hand near a small box and types in a code before the doors open, AFP said.
Last year, the state-owned SJ rail line started scanning the hands of passengers with biometric chips to collect their train fare while on board.
There is no technological reason the chips couldn’t also be used to buy things just like a contactless credit card, but nobody appears to have started testing that yet.