Sure, you can now pay for items using your phone, thanks to products like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. But Dutch journalist Rene Shoemaker is experimenting with paying for goods with his hand.
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Last month, he and nine other people volunteered to have a sterilized, near-field communication (NFC) chip - about the size of a grain of rice - implanted in their hands at the IT Innovation Day organized by IDG Netherlands. Those ten people will have the chips for a year as part of an experiment to study whether an implant is more useful than a chip embedded in a credit card or a smartphone.
Currently, programmers in the IT department at IDG Netherlands are working to make it possible for Shoemaker to use the chip to enter the building as well as to log onto his PC, instead of typing in a password.
Although those capabilities sound promising, Shoemaker is most interested in testing the negative consequences of having such a chip embedded in his body, because let's face it, that's where we're headed.
In an article for Computerworld, he muses, "What kind of privacy and security breaches would I expose myself to, for instance?"
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At the moment, he hasn't used the chip to make payments or breach security because certain necessary apps and programs haven't been written yet. But he has been talking with a "well-known global IT-security firm" about using the chip in his hand to install malware onto unsuspecting smartphones for the purposes of snooping.
If you have ideas for Shoemaker about what he can do with the chip, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.