Mind-Blowing Microchips are Gaining Momentum

Multifunctional Microchips Implanted Under the Skin are Taking Over the Scene in Sweden. What Does this Mean for the US?

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The first microchip came about in 1998 when scientist Kevin Warwick became the first person to receive a microchip implant.

Shanelle Diaz-Cruz, Journalist

The world of technology is expanding each and every day. There always seems to be a new invention or discovery. Even people who have lost their hand can now regain one thanks to robotic prosthetics. From phones to cars to robotic assistants, scientists are always thinking of ways to improve everyday life with each new piece of technology. With that in mind, many people in Sweden are taking convenience to another level by having technology so close that it’s under their skin.

Microchip implants are now taking over the scene in Sweden; according to the National Public Radio, over 4,000 people in Sweden are paying up to $180. The company Biohax International, owned by Jowan Osterlund, is currently leading the microchipping industry. Osterlund has said in his interview with NPR that the microchip can connect you with your surroundings in your everyday life.

The microchip created by Biohax International has many purposes in addition to acting as a way to identify yourself. It can be used to replace your bankcard, replace keycards, monitor your health and even detect an irregularity in your body before it becomes a bigger problem. 

Many companies around the world are using the microchip implant to monitor their employees to see if they are doing their job. However, many fear that companies will also use it to track down their employees. Some believe that companies will even take advantage of their employees and force them into getting the implant; states in the US have banned the use of mandatory microchips for this very reason. The current states that have banned mandatory microchipping are California, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Utah

There are also not many known long-term effects. For instance, some concerns are that the implant will migrate to another part of the body, cause a weird reaction, or need to be replaced because technology is growing every single day. 

However, companies like the Three Square Market and some others have employees that voluntarily got the implant and are planning on using it to make it easier for employees to get into their offices and log on into the company’s computer.   

Freshman Angel Newman has never heard about the microchipping that was going on in Sweden but believes there are pros and cons to the chip. “Some positive things that could come out of getting chipped would be that it would be more handy and convenient. All of your money can be in one place. Also, checking your health can be as easy as just looking at the chip. On the other hand, some cons would be the fact that it would be a lot easier for scams or robbers to steal all your information. In a way, this makes me very uncomfortable to put a chip in my very own body. I wouldn’t want to risk harming myself.” 

The fear of someone hacking in to a microchip implant is the concern of many who are considering it but Osterlund, the owner of Biohax International, stated in his interview with NPR that the microchips will be very difficult to hack into and many people who support the project of microchip implants agree and believe that they are protected against hackers. However, there’s still a possibility of microchips getting hacked into. 

Newman is skeptical of microchipping but sees and understands its benefit. She still agrees with the states who banned microchipping, ”I agree with US [states] banning it because I feel like there would be a decrease in a lot of problems.”

I feel like this could be really good for someone who is really bad at losing bank cards. I mean, there’s no losing your cards when it’s inside of you, but then again these companies have all your information.”

— Diana Venegas

Sophomore Diana Venegas has never heard about microchipping and wouldn’t consider getting microchipped. “No, I haven’t heard about that [microchipping] until now but it sounds scary. I feel like this could be really good for someone who is really bad at losing bank cards. I mean, there’s no losing your cards when it’s inside of you, but then again these companies have all your information. I would not consider getting a microchip because as convenient as it seems; it also sounds pretty scary.” 

Senior Angela Guitierrez has heard about microchips but would never consider getting one because she believes that it will restrict her freedom. “I have heard of them and I don’t like that because the government could track us more easily and they could take advantage of us. We wouldn’t be free. I would never get microchipped, they could track my every move. It’d be hard to get away with stuff. As humans we need to make mistakes on our own, not be controlled by the government.”