- The Washington Times - Friday, February 6, 2015

The Epicenter complex in Stockholm, Sweden, has started inserting microchips beneath the skins of consenting employees, who then use the technology to simply wave open the locks on doors or access office copier and printing machines.

“We call it augmented humanity,” Faith Popcorn, the author of “Dictionary of the Future,” told the New York Daily News. “We foresee a future in which everyone will have an implanted chip that will benefit our personal lives as well.”

The chip — similar to the type used in pets — is designed by Biohacking Group, the New York Daily News reported. It’s a small device about the size of a grain of rice and emits radio waves.

A professional tattoo artist actually inserts the chips, the New York Daily News reported. And supporters of the technology say it’s only a matter of time before more businesses, in more countries, start using microchips for people to access public transportation, pay for groceries — even track their exercise and fitness progress.

Still, the technology isn’t fool proof. “Today” show reporter Keir Simmons tried out the chip to unlock a door, but it didn’t work. That’s just one problem that plagues the technology — privacy advocates say the chip is a nightmare for individual rights, while researchers suggest that over-reliance on computers could prove the country’s downfall.

“We’ve already gotten too overwhelmed with technology and if it’s now a part of you, that’s going to make you more obsessed with it,” said Larry Rosen, a technology expert at California State University Dominguez Hills, the New York Daily News reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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