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Subdermal Implant Replaces Boarding Pass, Lounge Card and ID at Airport

The vice president of a Paris-based tech firm successfully completed an experiment which allowed him to board a flight using only a chip implanted in his hand to pass through the airport.

While Andreas Sjöström takes a great deal of pride in being the first passenger to successfully board a commercial flight using a high-tech device surgically installed in his hand rather than a boarding pass, the VP at Paris-based Sogeti is quick to warn that this is not the sort of thing his company plans to offer to the public anytime in the near future. Privacy concerns aside, a graphic video of Sjöström injecting the NFC (Near Field Communication) chip into the top of his hand helps to explain why the process isn’t ripe for bringing to consumers.

Sjöström documented a trip to the airport in which he was able to pass from security all the way to his flight using only the information stored under his skin. He even managed to access an airport lounge by simply waving his palm.

In the past, Sjöström used a similar implanted device to pay bus fare and unlock NFC-equipped doors, but he considers his latest experiment an impressive next step. “While I am certainly not the first person to have an NFC implant,” he explained, “I am probably one of the first travelers to pass through Stockholm Arlanda Airport, through security, at the lounge, and finally through the gate to the aircraft, using only the chip in my hand.”

While the experiment sounds like a science fiction plot device, Sjöström explains that his test trip relied on existing technology that is already in widespread use. The chip in his hand simply contained data that is already available on NFC-enabled cards offered to SAS EuroBonus Gold members. Because Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) is equipped to read the cards used by SAS elite flyers, Sjöström was able to use the same system to pass through the airport using only the NFC chip under his skin.

“The biggest surprise was the feeling of being able to identify myself without anything other than my body,” Sjöström said of his experiment. “I didn’t have to pull out anything. It gave me a new sensation, sort of a pre-notion of what it will be like in the future when we don’t have to reach out with physical objects to accomplish things.”

Sjöström admits that his experiment required some assistance and a little bit of luck. He is careful to point out that at any time he could have been asked to provide additional identification at the airport and he makes no secret of the fact that he worked closely with SAS officials to help ensure the experiment’s success.

[Photo: YouTube screenshot]

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MaxVO January 15, 2016

That's just what we all need! That and a barcode tattoo on the forehead.