No more lost keys, ID cards: Dubai expat to implant microchip in hand

She will soon be able to unlock her car or the door to her home with just her hand


Mazhar Farooqui

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Published: Mon 11 Mar 2024, 12:52 PM

Last updated: Mon 11 Mar 2024, 10:37 PM

Goodbye to the days of fumbling with a bunch of keys or worrying about misplacing them for this Dubai resident. Starting next month, Briar Prestidge, a New Zealand expat, is ready to embrace a future without keys — only a microchip implanted in her hand.

The CEO and founder of the Prestidge Group, and award-winning documentary producer, Prestidge is set to undergo the procedure during her upcoming trip to the US.

The tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) electronic tag, roughly the size of a grain of rice, will be surgically implanted in the back of her hand using a syringe.

Prestidge sees this as a way to ignite curiosity and inspire a new generation of innovative thinkers to reimagine the possibilities for humanity's advancement. "I am going to open myself to technology," she said, holding up the chip she recently bought online and demonstrating how it works.

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"It will be implanted in the fleshy parts of my skin on the back of my hand," she explained, "so that I can unlock my car or unlock the door to my house or gym."

Briar said she is collaborating with a smart home management consultancy in Dubai, adding that once the chip is implanted, she will be able to completely automate her life. "I am a little bit scared, I am not going to lie...but I am very much looking forward to exploring the future. For me, it's not just about the microchip but what it stands for."

In a recent LinkedIn post, she outlined her mission to delve deep into the innovations and trends shaping our future "With technological, science and medical advancements, comes an incredible opportunity to better the path of humanity," the post read.

In the video below Briar talks about her plan

Briar mentioned that although she won't immediately have the capability to pay for purchases by simply hovering her hand over a scanner at a checkout counter, she's eagerly anticipating being on the waiting list for the payment-enabled chips. "I'm excited for the payment ones," she said, "as they eliminate the need to carry around your phone for Apple Pay — a significant step towards seamless integration."

Since its inception in 1998, microchip implantation in humans has transitioned from a novelty to a commercial reality over the past decade.

Today, over 50,000 individuals worldwide have opted for a subdermal chip placement between their thumb and index finger, serving as a modern alternative to traditional swipe keys or credit cards.

In Germany alone, more than 2,000 people have embraced this technology, with one individual even utilising it to store a link to his last will and testament. Similarly, approximately 3,000 Swedes have integrated these tiny chips into their bodies over the past three years. These implants serve various purposes, from office building access and gym memberships to purchasing food from vending machines and replacing train tickets.


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