About this Webinar
“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.” — Hannes Sjöblad
JOIN US for this special, interactive webinar with Hannes Sjöblad (founder of the Swedish Association of Biohackers, advisor and speaker on Human Augmentation, and Ambassador for Sweden at the Singularity Universe) who will present the global biohacking landscape today, the evolution of microchip implanting in humans and his founding role in the movement, an overview of the global chip implanting ecosystem (people, companies, investors in the technology, governments’ responses), and future of chip implanting and its potential to upgrade humanity and substantively change business transacting.
Hannes will also give us a peak inside the Epicenter in Stockholm where he is Chief Disruption Officer. Epicenter an 86,000 square foot facility that is part of a movement to build the office space of the future where many of the workers have chosen to be chipped (their offices are unlike any other in the world!). Sweden is one of the most progressive tech You don’t want to miss this interactive webinar and your chance to ask questions about this emerging technology!
Chip Implanting for Everyone (or not)
On August 1, 2017, Wisconsin-based technology company, Three Square Market, became the first company in the US to offer its employees free microchip implants that function like a card reader. With a wave of the hand, workers may gain access to locked rooms and pay for food and drinks in the break room. About 50 of the company’s 80 workers signed up and got their grain-sized implan and, according to the company’s founder, it didn’t take much convincing. (Three Square Market becomes first US company to offer implanted microchips to all employees). And just a few months later, in December 2017, Mastercard and Verifone had meetings with Jowan Österlund (CEO of biohacking, chip implanting company, Biohax) to discuss the merging of fintech with biohacking (according to Österlund).
Some leaders in the tech and business community suggest that, by the year 2025, up to half the US population will have microchips implanted in them (animals like domestic pets have been microchipped for almost 30 years now). The pushback on chip implants by the public, advocacy groups and lawmakers, however, seemingly makes this prediction more of a dream than a reality. Or is it a reality we refuse to see? (Within Ten Years 50% of Americans Will Be Chipped)
This all started back in 2014 when Hannes Sjöblad began organizing chip “implant parties” where small groups of people gather in a fun, social setting to get near-field communication (NFC) chips embedded into their hands by tattoo artists for as little as $100. The chips are about the size of a grain of rice and allow users to send and receive data wirelessly using radio frequencies with the swipe of a hand. The point of the chip is to replace keys, key fobs, business cards, and more, by storing the data in the microchip.
Fast-forward to 2017 and, not only has chip implanting grown beyond the biohacking community to the general public, but companies are beginning to request implant parties so that their employees can get implanted. Sjöblad has hosted implant parties around the world including in Mexico, France, Greece, Germany, England, Denmark, and the United States. In 2017 alone, he and his colleagues chipped over 1,000 people in Stockholm. The movement is growing so much that companies like Dangerous Things have sprouted up offering do-it-yourself implant kits online and connects people with professional piercers and “body modifiers” so they can get chips implanted safely.
“Industry experts forecast we could see these chips used by hospitals to store medical records — even at airports to store that passport information. And that is just the beginning.” — Rebecca Jarvis (Chief Business and Economics Correspondent, ABC News)
If the biggest tech and financial companies, and influencers in business like Elon Musk (whose new new venture, Neuralink, is developing brain-machine interfaces to connect humans with computers) are enthusiastically embracing this biohacking technology, can full implementation of chip implanting really be far off?
Some Questions We’ll Ask Hannes
There’s so much we want to know, but here are just a few of our most burning questions for Hannes (bring your own questions to the webinar – you’ll get to ask him your questions too!):
- What’s driving the global chip implant movement into the mainstream?
- How will banks and other financial institutions incorporate chip implanting into their products and services?
- Why are ordinary people, from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds, allowing their bodies to be “updated” with implantable technologies at “implant parties” and what do they see as the immediate benefits that outweigh the risks?
- How is the biohacking community, and companies that are embracing chip implants addressing the major concerns about the technology including (1) microchips tracking your location, (2) microchips pinpointing your location inside the office, (3) microchips tracking what you are doing and if you are working, (4) microchips tracking health data, (5) getting an infection from the chip, and (6) who will own any data collected from the implant? There are also ethics concerns.
- Is the media misreporting microchip implant stories and contributing to public fear and ignorance on the topic, as this article in SPUTNIK suggests, Stories of Swedish Firm Microchipping Employees Are ‘Massively Exaggerated’?
- What kind of policies should we create?
- What opportunities are there for entrepreneurs and investors in this space?
About Hannes Sjöblad
With an international business background, deep insights in emerging technology fields and an easy going style of communication, Hannes is a popular speaker and business advisor on tech trends, in particular relating to the impact of technology on our bodies.
He is one of the founders of BioNyfiken, the Swedish Association of Biohackers. In this role he works to radically democratize access to powerful biotechnologies. As a bodyhacker, he does not step back from experimenting with technology with his own body.
In his day job, he operates as Chief Disruption Officer at the Innovation Hub Epicenter Stockholm where he advises companies and organisations on how to navigate the accelerating tech transformation.
Hannes work and insights into near- and in-body technology has been internationally recognized by among others Wired, Motherboard, Bloomberg, Business Insider, CNN, BBC, Daily Mail, Le Figaro and others. He is an early SU alumni (EP-10) and for many years served as the SU Ambassador in Sweden.