Forget about cash and credit cards, in the not too distant future we will need just one finger to shop: the thumb. For one person in particular this dream is getting closer to reality thanks to a near-field communications (NFC) chip embed in his hand. He is Australian biohacker Meow-Ludo Meow Meow (he legally changed his name) and he is part of a movement of people who are merging their bodies with technology.
Meow's goal is to revolutionize the economic exchanges and make contactless payments thanks to the "little piece of memory that can do some fun stuff" (has he defines the chip) he recently got implanted in his thumb. The biohacker will ultimately be able to make payments at stores by tapping his thumb on a contactless payment reader. Even if right now its application is limited, Meow hopes one day to have the implant work with PayPass, the contactless payment system offered by MasterCard. This collaboration would allow to use the system in almost every shop in Australia. To do so it would be necessary to have a chip with a bigger data storage capacity, but Meow already solved that problem: a second implant in the other hand.
In the short term, such chips could replace some of the everyday objects we always bring with us. "Your keys and wallet, those two things can be entirely replaced with a chip in your hand" Meow explains. "When you put your hands on the steering wheel, that could start your car". He also imagines the chip to be used by fitness management systems: "If you hadn't exercised enough in a day, it might stop you from eating" he says. "If it had a sensor that could detect blood glucose or heart rate, or it connected to a Fitbit, so that the Fitbit says: Oh, you haven't run today, we're not going to let you buy a Mars bar". From payment method and door opener to health monitoring, the potential of this in-body chip could be immense.