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How does chips that are implanted under the skin and allow you to pay without cash or a card – BBC News

The small attack on the back of Dave Williams's hand is about the size of the rice grain and is between the thumb and forefinger. It's just catchy, but when he opens his door to his house, he becomes the center of attention.

This British software engineer working in Mozilla is a chip embedded in his hand, an electronically powered pill that works with wireless technology.

"I have a very bad memory," he told the BBC. So he decided to implant this small device that does not allow him to panic if he forgets home keys.

It's the kind of chip that gets Fashion in Sweden and other Western European countries Germany, Australia and New Zealand, where several initiatives have been taken to popularize these futuristic technologies.

However, Sweden's case pays special attention. Thousands of people in the Nordic countries – some 3000, according to an AFP news release this May – the chips are already embedded. Although this figure could be even higher.

"More and more RFID chips are being used and used by the Swedish people unlock the door, "carry" tickets train and even make payments"says BBC World Ben Libberton, a microbiological physician working in the MAX IV Lund laboratory in the south of Sweden.

The chips are the size of the rice grain.

"Comfortable" system

Unlike barcode, RFID allows remote access to the information it contains. It is used in anti-theft labels, ski resorts and also inside"identification chips" for pets.

They are also introduced in most smartphones and contactless cards as well as in electronic passports.

However, in recent years, its use for humans has become particularly significant. Sweden has a tendency.

The theme started to form titles in 2015when the Epicenter, a high-tech company based in Stockholm, sparked a discussion announcing it was about to implant its employees to its chips.

With a bracelet, employees were able to access the building, use a photocopier or pay for coffee.

"The biggest benefit is the convenience", said co-founder and director Patrick Mesterton in 2017. "This allows you to replace many things, such as a credit card or keys."

Epicenter employee
Chips can be used to activate the photocopier.

Pay by hand

Chips can understand payments contactless (without contact), A specially encouraged practice in Sweden, in which almost 1% of all transactions in 2016 were made in cash.

Some of these deals are done on trains.

National Railway Company SJ – in the largest country – This is the first in the world to accept this type of payment.

When the reviewer leaves, some passengers place their hands close to their application smartphone. The train ticket seems to be a thing of the past.

contactless payment by microchip on a train from Sweden
On this train you can pay with your own hand.

For each person holding the chip in his hand, you must register in advance with the company in order to obtain the number and pay.

Stephen Ray, Communications Director, SJ, knows the system very well, since he himself has an implanted microchip under his arm.

This way, the review of the mobile phone screen indicates that the passenger has paid the ticket and shows his number and his name to him.

chip implanted in the hand
The microchip is located below the skin, between the index finger and the thumb.


"The only information that SJ reads from the microchip tickets is the membership number in the SJ loyalty program," Ray told BBC Mundo.

"This number it is not considered confidential and customer confidentiality is guaranteed from our point of view, "he adds.

At the moment, this technology is used only for regional trips in your company. But the plan is that it covers much more.

However, Ray explains it "it will never be compulsory" so that their clients can implant these chips and that "they are meant only asoptional servicethat we still consider the test project ".

Stephen ray
Stephen Ray, a SJ train company, has bought a chip.

Stephen says that the purpose of this initiative is to extend the scope of daily life (and other payments), such as a credit card.

However Not all support microchips Or is it so optimistic.

"This technology reduces the number of cards and devices required, it's a huge" miniature ", making it impossible to lose," said Libberton BBC Mundo.

But the microbiologist warns that he is worried about how the chips can violate those who use them, privacy and security.

"As these chips are integrated into multiple digital services, they will reveal more data if they are compromised. This is a weak point when it comes to security, " explains.

"Imagine if you use it to unlock your home or access your bank account. I am afraid that its facilities will ease serious leakage of data. "

And leave the question to the air: "The risks will be even greater when they begin to emerge biological data on chips If the company knows more about your health than you What are the ethical consequences and which rules? ", concludes.

Microchip for a wooden game
Their size is negligible, but they can have a large amount of data.

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