Swedish developers add support for digital Covid health passes to NFC chip implant

Swedish developers have demonstrated how an NFC chip implanted in a user’s hand or arm can be used to store a digital version of their Covid vaccination or test certificate.

Once the chip has been implanted beneath a user’s skin, the digital document can be accessed and displayed by scanning the chip with any NFC smartphone and without needing to use a dedicated app.

The chip uses technology developed at the Epicenter innovation centre in Stockholm that is already being used to allow employees to gain access to its premises and has also been trialled by Swedish transport operator SJ as a means of storing digital rail tickets.

“Implants are a very versatile technology that can be used for many different things, and right now it’s very convenient to have a Covid passport always accessible on your implant,” Epicenter’s Hannes Sjoblad said in a video posted by Ruptly.

“The implant is readable by any smartphone that has NFC function so I can go to a restaurant or a movie theatre, I just show them my arm and they swipe me with a smartphone and that pops up the Covid passport that I have on my chip, so you don’t need a special app for this.

“The benefit with the implant is that you can put it in, but you can also take it out. It’s a completely reversible procedure.”

Sjoblad also demonstrated how another NFC chip equipped with a sensor and implanted in his chest enabled him to check his body temperature by scanning it with a smartphone.

“The difference is that the chip I have implanted here that picks up my health data — it’s private and it has to be paired with a special smartphone with a special app and it’s only myself who can read this chip implant up here, whereas this one down here [with the Covid passport] is accessible to anyone,” he said.

“Ultimately I control these devices. I can lock them and unlock them and make them accessible if I want to.”

Swedish developers add support for digital Covid health passes to NFC chip implant was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.