Society has already accepted the use of physical implants that increase an individual's seductive power as well as technological implants that correct physical disabilities. Various companies are currently developing technological implants to increase the innate capacity of the human body (insideables) (e.g., memory implants). Public acceptance of this new technology has not yet been investigated in academic research, where studies have instead focused on the ethical and evolutionary implications of insideables. The main aim of this study is the development of a model, namely the Cognitive-Affective-Normative (CAN) model, for assessing the acceptance of new types of technological products. The CAN model combines the cognitive variables perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, as well as the normative variable subjective (or social) norm, from the TAM models with the affective variables positive emotions, negative emotions and anxiety. The CAN model was tested on a sample of 600 randomly selected individuals through structural equation modeling. Data were obtained from a self-administered, online survey. The proposed model explains 73.92% of the intention to use the technological product in the very early stages of its adoption, that is, its early acceptance. Affective and normative factors have the greatest influence on the acceptance of a new technology; within the affective dimension, positive emotions have the greatest impact. Any technology acceptance model should thus consider the emotions that the new technology produces, as well as the influence of the social norm. - Read more at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.063
"...In football-mad Argentina, fans are known for belting out an almost amorous chant to their favourite clubs: "I carry you inside me!" First-division side Tigre said it had decided to take that to the next level and is offering fans implantable microchips that will open the stadium turnstiles on match days, no ticket or ID required. "Carrying the club inside you won't just be a metaphor," the club wrote on its Twitter account. - Read more
"This brain implant is a chip that can automatically sense dopamine levels through an electrode that measures the flow of the neurotransmitter through the brain and pH levels. An algorithm within the device calculates whether dopamine levels are within a predetermined range, and if not, the chip sends an electrical impulse to stimulate neurons to produce more. Someday, it might help patients with a variety of disorders including addiction, or Parkinson's disease..."
Wake carried out the procedure himself using a hypodermic needle to implant the transponder, which can be read by Android devices.
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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.
Sweden has a global reputation as a leader in developing innovative technologies. But will a trend for inserting microchips in the human body catch on? The Local spoke to one of the first Swedes to choose an implant to unlock her office door.
Emilott Lantz, 25, from Umeå in northern Sweden, got a microchip inserted into her hand last week.
She became a guinea pig during Sime 2014 in Stockholm – a conference about digitalism, the internet, and the future. In line with the goals of the event, participants were offered to get a microchip fitted for free – an opportunity Lantz jumped at.
“I don’t feel as though this is the future – this is the present. To me, it’s weird that we haven’t seen this sooner,” she tells The Local.
There is evidence that the number of chip-wearers in Sweden is growing rapidly.
"This has very much been an underground phenomenon up until now, but there are perhaps a 100 people with the chip in Sweden," says Hannes Sjöblad from the Swedish biohackers group BioNyfiken.
In the last month alone 50 people from the group underwent the procedure.
The technology has previously been used for key tags or chips in our pets’ necks to let them through cat flaps. What is relatively new is inserting the chip in human hands.
The idea is that instead of carrying keys or remembering pins or passwords for our phones or doors, people fitted with microchips can use them to unlock rooms or lockers, by placing their hand against a machine that reads the information stored in the chip.
It was the appeal of minimizing the number of keys she needed to carry around that was the deciding factor for Lantz.
But her decision to go through with the procedure has brought mixed reactions from her friends and family, some saying she’s been foolish while others argue it’s a cool idea.
“The technology isn’t new but the subject becomes sensitive just because it’s in the human body,” she says.
The chip, which is the size of a grain of rice, has been designed to stay in Lantz’s hand for the rest of her life.
“I’m not surprised that people think it’s a big deal – it’s not that common yet, but I think it will be. We’re already modifying our bodies, why should this be different?”
Lantz first came in contact with the idea while attending the conference Geek Girl Meetups last year, where she heard speaker Carin Ism talk about transhumanism.
Transhumanism is a movement that explores science and technology innovations and their relationship to humanity. Its goal is to challenge humanity by using emerging technologies that enable humans to go beyond their current limitations.
“I’m super stoked to have had this done – I can’t wait for the property agent to get back to me about letting me into the system so that I can use my chip instead of my keys to get into the office,” says Lantz.
BioNyfiken's Hannes Sjöblad says it makes sense that Sweden is starting to embrace the technology.
"There's a reason that this is happening in Sweden first and not anywhere else. Swedes have a proven track record of being very early adapters of new technologies and the current mood is very conductive to this type of experimenting," he says.
Lantz adds: “besides having a chip in my hand, I’m a pretty normal person."
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Is it retail therapy gone mad? The dawn of a new cyborg age? Or a new meaning to going down under?
Whatever the case, a fair proportion of Australians are receptive to technology mixing with their precious human organic flesh, if it means making payments at retail stores is easier.
A survey, commissioned by global payments firm Visa, found 25 per cent of Australians were “slightly interested” in having a commerce-oriented chip implanted in their skin.
Research firm UMR conducted the survey for Visa, interviewing 1000 local consumers.
A subcutaneous chip would let consumers pay at a retail terminal without a wallet, credit card, smartphone or smartwatch. They would simply wave their bare hand over a terminal.
The finding was revealed as Visa and University of Technology Sydney announced a partnership to explore the future of wearable technology. Visa’s research looked at the wearable technology Australian consumers were interested in using for payments.
Thirty-two per cent would be interested in paying with a smartwatch; 29 per cent with a smart ring, and 26 per cent with smart glasses.
It is little wonder Visa regards Australians as adventurous with tech. “Australians are among the world’s earliest adopters of new technology,” said George Lawson, Head of Emerging Products and Innovation for Visa in ANZSP.
There’s nothing new about implanting tags under the skin. The US firm VeriChip obtained approval to do just that more than a decade ago.
Their chip consisted of a tiny antenna and an identification number. It was designed to be implanted in the soft tissue between the thumb and index finger and detected by a radiofrequency identification (RFID) scanner.
Before you see the human species morphing towards a cyborg future, there is a cautious note. Research in the past has linked subcutaneous chips to cancers in laboratory animals at the implant site.