LONDON - A British inventor has implanted himself with a microchip which lets him open his front door, get into his office and even start his car. Steven Northam (33) has had a chip which is about the size of a grain of rice implanted between his thumb and finger.
He think there’s nothing scary about a future where we’re all fitted with cyborg implants. But his wife has refused to join in and still fumbles around for her car keys rather than joining Steven’s brave new world. He’s so keen on implants that he’s offering an implantation services for British businesses and individuals.
He has teamed up with Dr Geoff Watson, a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, to ensure the implant procedure is carried out to a medical standard. Northam’s new company, BioTeq, is the first in the UK to offer human implantable technology via professional medical procedures.
He said the technology is similar to the microchips implanted inside cats and dogs and the implant procedure takes just 30 seconds.
It takes around a day for the locks to be changed on houses and cars at a price of about £300 for each.The married father of one now has technology fitted to both his home and his BMW Z4, which starts when his hand is on the wheel. The married father of one now has technology fitted to both his home and his BMW Z4, which starts when his hand is on the wheel.
Meanwhile, his primary school teacher wife Becci (30), must use a fob to get into their home as she is scared of needles.
“It’s out of choice. She’s not interested in it, so she has a normal key fob to get in the house. She thinks it’s a bit freaky, and she thinks I’m a bit mad,” he said.
The chip is designed to be strong so it doesn’t break inside someone’s body. The couple has a 10-month-old daughter called Poppy and Northam wants her chipped as well.
“I would potentially let Poppy have it done down the line if she wants it done. I certainly don’t have an issue with it,” he added.
Northam, from Otterbourne, said that while it has fun gimmicks, the chip is also a major breakthrough for the medical world.
“We’ve been developing this for probably a year now, and I had one implanted six months ago. I was the guinea pig and the driver behind it. I teamed up with a friend who’s a doctor and he implanted it. The chips are manufactured in the Far East but sterilised here, and we have had about 30 people signed up so far,” he said.
The contactless chip is stored in a sealed glass tube, which has been put through heavy impact testing using pork meat to ensure there is virtually no chance of it breaking once implanted. Northam said the company is planning surgeries around the UK to get people and businesses using it.
The chip and the implant procedure will set people back between £230 and £260 per person, while complete offices where employees can access doors or use equipment will cost upwards of £5,000.
He said one business in Andover is now arranging for its six employees to have the technology fitted for work.