16/01/2018 09:32 SAST | Updated 16/01/2018 09:33 SAST

Microchip Implants Are Becoming A Reality

Having a microchip implant could make all kinds of tasks easier – but there are major privacy concerns.

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Microchip implants in humans are now becoming a reality, so we should start thinking about them.

In 2016, Australia reportedly became the first country to begin microchipping its population -- then joined by Sweden and the United States -- but this included only certain businesses and was not offered to the population.

In August, a company in the U.S. gave their staff the option of having a microchip implanted to make certain tasks at work easier.

The tasks that become effortless included paying for food in the staff canteen, opening doors, and other menial activities. This, of course, eliminates the use of access cards.

There is a possibility that other countries could make use of this. It's not crazy to think that big tech brands could also offer a similar technology, in which you take out a simple mobile contract and get microchipping included in the package.

The chance of South Africa making use of this technology does seem quite slim, considering we are struggling with broadband speeds as it is -- compared to other countries that already have the infrastructure -- but things could rapidly change.

Having a microchip implant makes you seem almost superhuman, as you're able to do all sorts of things with just a wave of a hand –– the chip is commonly inserted into the thumb.

Technology isn't always perfect and could lead to health problems.

You could control your home, as many do, using WiFi technology to adjust lighting and other smart devices, or pay for items at a store so you wouldn't have to carry a wallet anymore. Your medical history would be instantly accessible if you're admitted to hospital.

These are just the basics –– but as with every good thing, there are pros and cons to this technology.

Some see this as an infringement on privacy –– because the government or companies could track your every move and have access to personal information. There is also the possibility of malfunction, because no technology is perfect, leading to possible health problems.

I'm not completely sure if I'd take the leap and make use of this technology when it reaches South Africa. However, anything that makes life simple is a winner, and this sounds perfect –– because being able to wave my hand and start up the car or have the fridge door ''magically'' open would be a joy.

Then again, do we really want partners and spouses to be able to track our every move from their smartphones?