Sweden's state-owned rail operator SJ is allowing passengers to use microchip implants rather than conventional tickets.
The idea is currently being trialed just among some SJ members. It means all they need to travel is their left hand and the small microchip implanted in it. Authorities believe implanting the microchip will make the train journey more convenient.
SJ claims to be the first travel company in the world to enable passengers to use microchip implants to validate their tickets. The small implants use Near Field Communication technology, the same tech used in contactless credit cards or mobile payments.
Implanting microchips under the skin is becoming increasingly popular in Sweden. But experts warn there are security and privacy issues to consider.
"GET READY Australia: You can now board a plane using a chip in your hand.
Andreas Sjöström, the vice president of a Paris-based tech firm, has successfully completed an experiment which allowed him to board a flight using only a chip implanted in his hand to pass through the airport.
A near-field communication chip can communicate with an NFC (Near Field Communication) reading device to transmit information.
It’s similar to the technology that, only last October, tech developer Patric Lanhed used to make digital payments.
Sjöström documented his trip to the airport in which he was able to pass from security all the way to his flight using only the information stored under his skin. He even managed to access an airport lounge by simply waving his palm."
More here: http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/flights/now-you-can-board-a-plane-just-by-waving-your-hand/news-story/12bc677a48c629e5742ebebae848d5f4
"MANILA, Philippines – The next big thing in computing could be a glass-encased chip embedded under the skin of your left hand.
Think of it as an extension of the wearables that can track your movement, your sleep, your heart and pulse rate now. Chip implants can do so much more.
In its early stages today, it can store data that can be read by Near Field Communication (NFC) readers. Technically speaking you can open your door, your car just by scanning your hand in the NFC reader. It can serve as your key or access pass to the gym, the library, the office, or wherever is it that requires identification.
If you think that chips embedded in the human body can turn you into a cyborg, fear not because the reality is less frightening than that, according to Hanness Sjoblad, Chief Disruption Officer and Founder, BioNyfiken.
In a presentation entitled “Chirping Humans: The Internet of Things Becomes the Internet of Us,” at the Kaspersky Lab APAC Cyber Security Summit in Malaysia recently, Sjöblad, along with Rainer Bock and Sergey Lozhkin of Kaspersky Lab, explained that while still a rarity (only around 10,000 people around the world have chips implanted in their hand), it is fast gaining attention, especially in Europe and the US.
The use cases are built around the ease and convenience of not having to carry around too many things in your wallet or your handbag. Just scan your hand and you’re good to go.
Sjoblad said there were many interface moments in computing history that made human interaction with computers a lot simpler. Using computers before Windows, for example, is an absolute pain. It’s the same way with using the Internet before the Web browsers. Windows and Web browsers are only some of the landmarks in computer interfaces that have made it very easy for people to interact with computers.
“My personal take is that implants represent a similar interface moment between humans and technology because of the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT),” Sjoblad said. “Our world will be filled with connected things. If you have a smart device in your hand you have automatic way to interact with technology.”
Defined as the network of physical objects embedded with software, sensors and connectivity, IoT is indeed growing rapidly. Juniper Research recently reported that the number of IoT connected devices is on track to reach 13.4 billion this year and is expected to rise to 38.5 billion by 2020. These connected things have varied applications in retail, agriculture, smart buildings and smart grid applications, to name only a few."
Want To Become A Grinder?
For those interested in becoming a grinder, there’s Biohack.me, an online resource for aspiring and operational biohackers (grinders) from around the world. There, you can search for regional groups and labs to connect with (where you can purchase your own implant kit), connect with other grinders in the forum, and learn more about this subculture. If you’re into the whole implant thing but don’t want to try an NFC/RFID chip, you could start with a magnet implant by renown body modification artist Steve Haworth.
Grinders or biohackers don’t always have implants. You could biohack the quantified self way, by utilizing today’s wearable tech, apps, and data to better your life like Chris Dancy did. Although some people might call Chris a cyborg, a wearable tech guru, or a biohacker, he’s just using today’s technology in ways that seem complicated now but will seem quite normal in the future.
Punching in security codes to deactivate the alarm at his store became a thing of the past for Jowan Oesterlund when he implanted a chip into his hand about 18 months ago.
"When I walk into my studio, I just wave my hand at the alarm, and the alarm turns off," the tattoo artist said.
"Whenever someone shows up with security clearance, he will wave and the alarm is deactivated, the lights are turned on... it will start up the computer, the cash machine and so on," he added.
Oesterlund is one of the small but growing number of people around the world who has a grain-sized NFC (Near Field Communications) chip embedded in him.
In fact, so convinced is he that "this is the future" that he has two of them, one in his hand and the other in his arm.
"One year ago it was 'that's just stupid', or 'wow that's just awesome'. But now multinational companies are looking into it," he said, pointing to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky as an example.
The renowned cybersecurity company had brought in Oesterlund to carry out a live demonstration of chip implantation at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin which opens to the public Friday.
The nervous volunteer is Rainer Bock, who works at Kaspersky. After Oesterlund used a needle to put a chip under Bock's skin, the new member of the "cyborg" club said: "It didn't hurt."
Curiosity a factor
With a memory of just 880 bytes, the chips are far from the science fiction equivalent of data powerhouses carrying billions of encrypted secret documents.
Rather, they tend to have specific functions, such as unlocking a door or hooking up to an app on a smartphone.
Despite the limited uses, human chip implant manufacturer Dangerous Things told AFP that there are now around 10,000 "cyborgs" -- or humans with digital chips in them -- across the globe.
The phenomenon is not new, with a club in Barcelona offering such implants to its members as early as 2004, allowing them to gain entrance and pay for their drinks with it.
But its popularity has now accelerated with the ubiquity of smartphones, which can communicate with the chips.
Those who have done the procedure admit that for now, novelty is its key draw.
Evgeny Chereshnev, who also works for Kaspersky, got his chip about seven months ago.
"It felt weird for a couple of weeks... Then I started to understand that I've forgotten what it is to carry a badge to work, I've forgotten what it means to open a door with a key," he said, describing how with a simple wave of his hand, he now enters a secure office building without punching in codes or tapping a security card at the entrance.
But such implants are not without risks, warns Kaspersky's European research director Marco Preuss, saying that a smartphone placed close to the chip for instance, could easily pick up data.
The corporate tenants of a Swedish high-tech office complex are having RFID chips implanted in their hands, enabling access through security doors, as well as services such as copy machines, all without PIN codes or swipe cards.
The employees working at Epicenter, a 15,000-square-foot building in Stockholm, can even pay for lunch using their implants -- just as they would with the swipe of a credit card.
The owners of Epicenter say they want the facility to be a "magnet for fast growing digital companies and cutting-edge creative corporate initiatives."
"The fact that some people at the Epicenter office have chosen to replace their key fobs with NFC implants is their own personal choice," said Hannes Sjöblad, founder of Bionyfiken, a Swedish association of Biohackers. "It's a small, but indeed fast-growing, fraction which has chosen to try it out."
Sjöblad said there are also several other offices, companies, gyms and education institutions in Stockholm where people access the facilities with implanted RFID/NFC chips (near field communication).
Workers at companies based in the Swedish tech business incubator Epicentre are having microchips implanted into their hands.
Up to 400 members of Stockholm's Epicenter will be able to have the highly controversial radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips inserted into their bodies.
The chips, which are the size of a grain of rice, store personalised security information, similar way to an office security pass or a chip-and-pin credit card. They enable people to open doors and operate photocopiers – and in the future make payments – with a wave of their hand.
"We already interact with technology all the time," said Hannes Sjoblad, who is in charge of implanting the chips and has an implant containing his business card details. "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.
"We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped – the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip."
RFID chips have already provoked controversy in the US following rumours President Obama's regime would require every US citizen to have one implanted, as part of health care reforms.
BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones raised doubts of the wider social acceptability of RFID implants after having one of the chips inserted while visiting Epicenter.
"All sorts of things are possible," he wrote. "Whether it becomes culturally acceptable to insert technology beneath our skin is another matter."
But Sjoblad, a chief disruption officer at the Swedish biohacking group BioNyfiken, believes the use of RFIDs is just the beginning.
"I believe we have just started discovering the things we can do with this. There is huge potential for life-logging. With the fitness-tracking wearables at the moment, you have to type in what you are eating or where you are going," he said. "Instead of typing data into my phone, when I put it down and tap it with my implant it will know I am going to bed.
"Imagine sensors around a gym that recognises, for instance, who is holding a dumbbell via the tag in your hand. There is an ongoing explosion in the Internet of Things. The sensors will be around for me to be able to register my activity in relation to them."
Ben Slater, an advertising director from Australia, had a near-field communication (NFC) microchip injected into his hand just before the launch of the iPhone 6.
"Dr. Katina Michael of the University of Wollongong, told OmniChannel Media that “Lloyds Bank revealed recently in a study they made last month in the UK, where they found that 28% of consumers there are willing to make payments using wearable devices, including watches and wristbands in the next ten years,”. Michael is an associate professor at the University of Wollongong’s School of Information Systems and Technology, and the editor in chief of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.
“About 22% think they will regularly be using fingerprints to make those payments,” Michael said, “and even 7% of the population would consider things like implantable devices.”
She believes that the trend to apparel based contactless payment could well be taken up with enthusiasm in Australia.
“I think it’s an interesting question,” Michael said. “Australian studies are showing that locals are going contactless, using different kinds of form factors and are using touch and go systems,” Michaels adds: “How much would it stretch the consumer to consider an e-payment system with a similar embedded device either in the cuff or collar.”
Still, Michael explains, there are troublesome issues, like security, that impact the consumer’s confidence with this kind of innovation. Since the technology was never designed for security devices it can be hacked, killed, cloned, and identities stolen and all of this can be done so remotely and discreetly. “What we are doing by introducing yet another form factor is increasing the vector for fraud.”
Michael notes that the Apple watch take up in Australia has been significant and predicts that as much as one-third of the country’s consumers could move to contactless payment. “But I would say the vast majority [of shoppers] would use their common sense and would not invest or expose them to more security risk.”