Over 3,000 Swedish people are embracing the “biohacking” movement on an extremely personal level. Users are experimenting with implanted microchips which further integrate wearable technology that aims to simplify and interconnect their life. Participants in Sweden can use the microchips to enter their homes, businesses, gyms, and more by using the embedded technology instead of carrying key cards.
The rise of biohacking, the modification of the human body with technology, is constantly growing in popularity as more people are converted to wearable tech. Wearable technology includes products such as the FitBit and Apple Watch, which inevitably inform and entice consumers to take the next step to complete biointegration.
The single microchip, usually inserted in the hand, is about the size of a single grain of rice. The procedure to implant the microchip involves a “slight sting” from a syringe implanting the biotechnology beneath the users skin. Business Insider reported that, “About four years ago, Swedish biohacking group Bionyfiken started organising ‘implant parties’ – where groups of people insert chips into their hands en masse – in countries including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Mexico.”
Biohacking can be used in a variety of daily applications: as a ticket on public transportation, as a key card to the office or the gym, and one day might be used as a contactless credit card. Hannes Sjöblad told Tech Insider in 2015 that “all of the wearables (Fitbit, Apple Watch) we wear today will be implantable in five to 10 years.”
Supporters love the idea of having their smartphone, keys, and other daily essentials seamlessly integrated into the human body. Others fear the vulnerability to hacking and the sacrifice of privacy and personal liberty are not worth the slight increase in convenience. Supporters and opponents are both growing more anxious and excited as this technology quickly makes its way from science fiction to reality.