October 25, 2018
NPR recently published an article about the latest Swedish trend to insert identification microchips into their hands. This made me think about my final project subject, “neuro-hacking”, even though these chips aren’t directly affecting the brain or neurological functions. However, this growing practice in Sweden does embody a new kind of technical augmentation to our physical body. We’ve built prosthetic body parts and inserted pace makers, but this identification chip is a programmable and arguably hackable augmentation. I think it’s also interesting to hear the chipping firm’s founder, Jowan Osterlund, thoughts on why Swedes are open to accepting a technology we’ve already been using on our pets:
First, the country has a long history of embracing new technologies before many others and is quickly moving toward becoming a cashless society.
Osterlund’s second theory is that Swedes are less concerned about data privacy than people in other countries, thanks to a high level of trust for Swedish companies, banks, large organizations and government institutions.
One of the next steps for the NeuroFit project is to consider how cultural norms impact marketing, reviews, and consumer acceptance of the product.
A perpetual work in progress blog documentating my NYU ITP projects. Words are my own.