Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Swedish firm offers Covid pass that gets under the skin



Swedish firm offers Covid pass that gets under the skin

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Amanda Back, marketing manager at Epicentre Stockholm, scans with a smartphone a microchip developed by DSruptive Subdermals and implanted in her hand, on December 20. AFP

Swedish firm offers Covid pass that gets under the skin

Dystopian nightmare or a simple convenience? A Swedish company implanting microchips under the skin is promoting its devices for use as a Covid-19 health pass in a country with thousands of early adopters.

“I think it’s very much part of my own integrity to have myself chipped and keep my personal data there with me, I actually feel that it’s even more controlled on my end,” Amanda Back, a Stockholm resident who has implanted the subcutaneous chip developed by DSruptive Subdermals, said.

Though still rare, several thousand Swedes have opted to have an electronic implant inserted under the skin in recent years, eliminating the need to remember key fobs, business cards, public transport cards, and recently, vaccine passes.

The country that created the show Real Humans and its English language adaptation Humans, is also a stronghold of so-called biohackers who are convinced that humans will become evermore entangled with technology in the future.

“I have a chip implant in my arm and I have programmed the chip so that I have my Covid passport on the chip and the reason is that I always want to have it accessible and when I read my chip, I just swipe my phone on the chip and then I unlock and it opens up,” said Hannes Sjoblad, managing director of DSruptive Subdermals, as a file with his vaccine certificate appeared on his phone.

“A chip implant costs a €100 [$110] if you want to buy the more advanced versions, and you can compare this with for example a health wearable that will cost perhaps twice that but at the same time a chip implant you can use for twenty, thirty, forty years. Whereas a wearable you can only use for three, four years,” he added.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
DSruptive Subdermals has come up with a microchip that can be inserted under the skin so that users can carry their Covid passports in their arm. AFP

For Sjoblad, the Covid pass is just one example of a possible application, which will be a “thing for the winter of 2021-2022”.

The Swedish entrepreneur added he has a “strong interest in privacy”.

While he acknowledged that many “people see chip implants as a scary technology, as a surveillance technology”, Sjoblad said that instead they should be viewed as a simple ID tag.

“They don’t have a battery, they cannot transmit the signal by themselves, so they’re basically asleep, they can never tell your location, they are only activated when you touch them with your smartphone,” he said.

All implants are voluntary, and if someone were to make them compulsory for prisoners or elderly people in retirement homes, “you will find me on the barricades,” Sjoblad said.

“Nobody can force anyone to get a chip implant.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio