ORLANDO, Fla. — A rice-sized microchip implanted under your skin could become your vaccine passport.
A Swedish tech startup says its device could be customized to display people’s COVID-19 vaccination records, according to a video the South China Post posted Friday on Twitter.
Epicenter, based in Stockholm, says anyone who opts for microchip implantation can later change their minds and have the device removed.
“Right now it’s very convenient to have a COVID passport always accessible on your implant,” Hannes Sjöblad, Epicenter’s chief disruption officer, says in the video.
The chip uses near-field communication (NFC) to send the data to devices, including smartphones, that can read them.
It’s the same type of technology used in most contactless credit cards and mobile payments, according to Fox Business.
Such devices have a range of practical applications.
“They can act as a key fob or a form of payment, or they can be programmed to store data, like, for instance, your resume. (All you have to do is hold a smartphone over the chip to program it.) ,” according to Hour Detroit Magazine. “They’re not dissimilar from the identification chips you’d install in your cat or dog.”
The novelty of the technology makes some people uncomfortable enough to label it creepy, dystopian or even apocalyptic.
Many responses to Friday’s video were negative and angry.
Some noted that involuntary microchipping via vaccination was a prominent conspiracy theory last year.
A poll taken in May 2020 found “44% of Republicans think Bill Gates is working on a coronavirus vaccine because he wants to plant a microchip in them and monitor their movements,” the New York Daily News reported.