Search By Topic The Green Supply Chain Distribution Digest
Supply Chain Digest Logo

Category: RFID, Automated Data Collection, and Internet of Things

Despite the Controversy and "Ick" Factor, Growing Number of Humans Opting for Embedded RFID Chips

Candidate for California Governor Promotes Transhumanism, While Swedish Train Using Implanted Chip in Place of Tickets

Sept. 20, 2017
SCDigest Editorial Staff

SCDigest has reported several times over the past few years about the small but it appears growing interest in having one or more RFID chips or similar technology implanted in someone's body, generally in the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger, and using that wireless device to automate an increasingly broad array of everyday tasks.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

Governor candidate Istvan agrees, writing that "With so much going for it, I'm expecting a mainstream cultural wave of chipping to take place over the next decade."

What do you say?

Click here to send us your comments
Click here to see reader feedback

It largely started with a man name Amal Graafstra, who made news in 2010 by publicizing the fact that he had a RFID tag implanted in each hand, which he used to perform tasks such as opening his garage door or turning on his computer with a wave of his hand. (Are RFID Tagged Humans Closer than we Think?)

This summer, there was news that Wisconsin company Three Square Market offered employees implantable chips to open doors, buy snacks, log in to computers, and use office equipment like copy machines. It's not clear how many workers have taken advantage of the offer, though some 50 were said to have signed up initially.

There have been a few similar examples in Europe between Graafstra to Three Square Market timeframe. Graafstra has even managed to started a business selling kits for individuals, perhaps with some help, to implant their own chips using a type of syringe.

The movement in some circles goes by the name transhumanism, which is about people who want to use radical technology in their bodies.

Writing last week in an opinion column in the San Francisco Chronicle, transhumanist Zoltan Istvan - who is running for governor of California as a Libertarian, by the way - writes that "I got my RFID implant two years ago, and now I use it to send text messages, bypass security codes on my computer, and open my front door. Soon I'll get the software to start my car, and then my life will be totally keyless."

His implant cost $60, he says.

Also, recent news that a new program is being developed in Sweden that will allow train riders to use implanted chips instead of a physical ticket. Conductors will use a mobile phone app to match up the rider's membership number on the chip with a purchased ticket.

The company providing the technology said it initially expects around 200 people to join the program.

(See More Below)



An image of a train employee using an app to read a passenger's chip and calling up his account and ticket information is shown below.




It is worth noting that around 3,000 people in Sweden have already had a chip embedded in their hand in order to access secure areas of buildings.

"You could use the microchip implant to replace a lot of stuff, your credit cards, they keys to your house, the keys to your car," a company executive told the BBC.

That is similar thinking to that on a report on NBC last year, which predicted the microchipping of children will happen "sooner rather than later" and that Americans will eventually accept the chipping process as something just as normal as the bar code in a grocery store.

Governor candidate Istvan agrees, writing that "With so much going for it, I'm expecting a mainstream cultural wave of chipping to take place over the next decade as implant technology becomes increasingly more functional."

There are of course concerns. Many privacy groups worry about where all this is headed - will the government be able to track citizens using the implanted chips - and there are also concerns from Christian groups.

For example, implants fit the biblical warning of the "Mark of the Beast" quite well - but there were similar concerns. But that was true of bar coding as well, and such concerns hardly slowed the adoption of the technology.

Do you see this chip implant thing takinf off? Would you do it? Let us know your thoughts at hthe Feedback button below.

Your Comments/Feedback

Dave Roberts

IT Manager, SRC
Posted on: Sep, 22 2017
As a born again Christian who takes the Bible seriously, I wouldn't take the chip implant regardless of the circumstances. UPC codes also have the 666 code placed within them, but of course, there was no requirement to have them placed on your forehead or on your right hand.

Just consider the odds of this happening; 1900 years ago, a man has a vision, part of which warns people that one day they will be required to take a mark in the right hand or their forehead and that mark will contain the symbol 666. Today, we are confronted with just such a society and technology. It's not all here yet ... the man who will enforce compliance is not yet public. But he is alive and he's awaiting the time of crisis where everyone will see the need to implement this system.

Don't take the chip - if you do, then you will be eternally separated from God, that's exactly what the Bible says!



SC & Operations and Change Management Expert, T2People - Transformation Through People
Posted on: Sep, 26 2017

Scary as it may be at the beginning, I guess it will evolve quickly, except if some other more convenient technology disrupts this one. In essence, it is no different from remote controls, credit cards and smartphone apps, except that you carry it with you (or inside you) all the time, so there is no chance of losing or forgetting it. 

There should be ways of avoiding accidental or frauded use, as with current extra-body devices. I mean, it shouldn't be assumed just because it is inside the owner's body that it is being legitimately used. Especially if extracted from the owner's body. Anti-cloning, double identification, like combining with eye reading or face recognition, should probably be used for some of the applications.

Even if it were painless, I would not want to insert/extract it frequently, so it better be extremely reliable and long lasting.

It is probably desired to have ways of activating/deactivating it, to help resolve privacy concerns.


Sheperd, Self employed
Posted on: Sep, 26 2017
Yes, the chip will become mandatory - too tempting for employers, government and banks to resist.
I'd rather perish than accept this ultimate form of technological enslavement.



Follow Us

Supply Chain Digest news is available via RSS
RSS facebook twitter youtube
bloglines my yahoo
news gator


Subscribe to our insightful weekly newsletter. Get immediate access to premium contents. Its's easy and free
Enter your email below to subscribe:
Join the thousands of supply chain, logistics, technology and marketing professionals who rely on Supply Chain Digest for the best in insight, news, tools, opinion, education and solution.
Home | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact Us | Sitemap | Privacy Policy
© Supply Chain Digest 2006-2023 - All rights reserved