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Thousands Of Swedes Are Inserting Microchips Under Their Skin #WearableWednesday

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Interesting piece from NPR about the growing use of chip implants. Will this be a growing trend or passing fad?

In Sweden, a country rich with technological advancement, thousands have had microchips inserted into their hands.

The chips are designed to speed up users’ daily routines and make their lives more convenient — accessing their homes, offices and gyms is as easy as swiping their hands against digital readers.

They also can be used to store emergency contact details, social media profiles or e-tickets for events and rail journeys within Sweden.

Proponents of the tiny chips say they’re safe and largely protected from hacking, but one scientist is raising privacy concerns around the kind of personal health data that might be stored on the devices.

Around the size of a grain of rice, the chips typically are inserted into the skin just above each user’s thumb, using a syringe similar to that used for giving vaccinations. The procedure costs about $180.

So many Swedes are lining up to get the microchips that the country’s main chipping company says it can’t keep up with the number of requests.

Despite these concerns, there seems to be no letup in the trend. One coworking space and innovation hub in Stockholm is holding a large implant party this month where a tech startup, DSruptive, is promising to reveal “the next generation consumer-level implant.” The device will include 2KB of memory — double that of earlier implants — a range of new functions and an LED light designed to improve privacy by blinking if someone tries to read or access an implant.

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