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Implanted microchip could be used to verify COVID-19 vax status

Implanted microchip could be used to verify COVID-19 vax status (SBG FILE)
Implanted microchip could be used to verify COVID-19 vax status (SBG FILE)
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden (TND) — Microchip technology invented by Swedish startup company "Epicenter" is now being presented as a possible way to carry around a COVID-19 vaccine passport under a person's skin, according to a viral video.

"Beep boop beep: Your vaccination record has been verified," says the caption of the video posted to Twitter by South China Morning Post.

"Imagine showing your COVID-19 passport with just a flash of your arm," the video says at its beginning, showing a person holding out their arm and scanning it with a mobile phone.

The video explains the microchip uses pre-existing technology the startup company was already developing to employ "near-field communication" (NFC) and send data to any compatible device. Smartphones are listed as an example of a possible data receiver.

"Implants are a very versatile technology that can be used for many different things," says Epicenter's Chief Disruption Officer Hannes Sjöblad in the video. "Right now it is very convenient to have a COVID passport always accessible on your implant."

A microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, can be embedded under a person's skin, either under the arm or between the pointer finger and thumb, according to Sjöblad during his appearance on a Tech2025 Webinar. After the chip is implanted, data such as a vaccine passport can be stored on it using NFC-compatible devices.

Tech2025 says the point of such chips is to replace the need to carry around key fobs, identification cards, and business cards. People would be able to store data, such as passports for airports and medical records, on their chips.

The procedure can be done for as little as $100 and is reportedly "completely reversible".

The human body is the next big platform. We are updating our bodies with technology on a large scale already with wearables. But all of the wearables we wear today will be implantable in our bodies in five to 10 years," Sjöblad says, according to Tech2025.

It has been predicted by tech and business leaders that up to half of Americans will be "chipped" by the year 2025, but Tech2025 admits there is pushback on implants from lawmakers, advocacy groups, and the public, which likely makes such a prediction more of a dream than reality.

"I wouldn't be surprised if, within 10 years, 50% of Americans have some type of implant, because at the end of the day an implant can reduce the size of your wallet or whatever you carry in your purse by about 30 or 40 percent," said Transhumanist political party candidate for American president Zoltan Istvan in an interview with Sputnik News.

Hannes Sjöblad reportedly organized "transplant parties" for his employees starting in 2014, where they would gather in a fun, social setting to get chips embedded into themselves.

In August 2017, a Wisconsin-based tech company named "Three Square Market" (32M) became the first in America to offer free microchip implants to its employees. Those chips gave employees access to locked rooms and the ability to buy food and drinks in the break room.

"We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems, much like micro markets have steadily replaced vending machines. As a leader in micro market technology, it is important that 32M continues leading the way with advancements such as chip implants" says Todd Westby, the CEO of Three Square Market.

Epicenter's chips are reportedly not for sale yet, South China Morning Post says in its video.

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