Biohacking: Embedding Near Field Communication Chips in the Human Body

With the failure of Google Glass, some people are questioning the effectiveness of wearable technology. However, a new form of smart technology might turn things around for it. At the Kaspersky Labs Security Analyst Summit, it was proposed that embedding technology in the human body might be one of the more viable ways to take advantage of smart technology.

Hannes Sjoblad of the Swedish group BioNyfiken has chosen to use himself as a science project by implanting a NFC (Near Field Communication) chip into his hand. This is what Sjoblad is calling “biohacking,” or integrating smart technology into the human body. This technology will be used to perform certain functions. While biohacking is still in its infancy, Sjoblad believes that we will see “cyborg-like” results in the near future.

Here’s a video of YouTuber Mike James getting his own xNT NFC chip implanted into his hand. Although, it should be mentioned that if you’re a bit squeamish or don’t like needles, you might want to skip out on this one. Still, it looks like a quick and painless process.

While this might seem like a weird new trend, it’s actually gained quite a bit of traction recently. According to ZDNet, over 300 Swedish citizens have volunteered to have NFC chips implanted into their hands between their thumb and forefinger. All of this success had to come from somewhere, though, and as the potato salad fad has shown us, crowdfunding does produce some wonderful things (This concept started as an Indiegogo campaign). Sjoblad tells the press that he can use his embedded chip to do any number of basic tasks, like unlocking his house door, bike lock, and more. He can even use it in place of his memberships or business cards.

Some folks might not be sold on this concept, though. The idea of cyborgs being implemented into society might sound intimidating at best. When Sjoblad refers to cyborgs, he more or less means that people use technology to supplement their day-to-day operations. He explains they “are already among us,” in the form of those who use pacemakers, insulin pumps, or medical technologies. He also states that this technology has grown more affordable (like most growing industries), and that people shouldn’t be concerned about security. After all, we already use smartphones that can leak personal data, so NFC chips shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

Sjoblad firmly believes that NFC chips will be an improvement to the way that humans go about their daily routine. He claims that devices like smartphones and wearable technology “clutter up” the way that we live our lives. The same can be said for keys and other necessary objects that quickly complicate a situation if forgotten. The NFC chip is designed to eliminate unnecessary clutter and improve day-to-day efficiency.

Other uses for this technology should also be considered. It sounds like a quality way to integrate two-factor authentication without the need to remember a password or otherwise. We imagine a computer that unlocks simply by you being close to it. Whether or not this is a good idea is up for debate, but only time can tell.

What are your thoughts on this new technology? Would you be willing to try an embedded NFC chip? Let us know in the comments.

Pro tip: Want to take advantage of NFC tech without the use of needles? Try the NFC Ring.

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