What if you didn't have to worry about finding your keys before work, or leaving your company ID card on your desk when you went to lunch? At Epicenter, a high-tech office complex in Sweden, you don't need either, just a tiny microchip — embedded in your hand. All of the complex's more than 700 employees have been offered one, and it serves as key, business card (tap your phone on someone's hand to get their details), and perhaps early entry into the next phase of human-machine convergence. TODAY's Keir Simmons volunteered to undergo the implantation process himself.
"What I really want to know," Simmons asks Epicenter's body-modification expert, "is how much it hurts? Because that's a big needle."
The answer is no more than a vaccination shot, though it doesn't look pleasant. At $300, or the Swedish equivalent thereof, it isn't cheap, either. But at least it's quick, and Simmons is a cyborg as fast as he might get a tetanus shot.
It's hard to say whether or not it worked, though. Unlike a key, there isn't much feedback when you try to unlock a door by touching a panel with your cybernetic hand, and Simmons had some trouble. The future may be impressive, but it doesn't look much more convenient just yet.
This article was originally published Feb. 5, 2015 at 6:34 p.m.