How long will it be before people see the benefit of microchipping themselves? Inserting a microchip into a human is still seen as a step too far for privacy, even for the average Facebook user. I suspect this is because there are still no obvious benefits of being easily identifiable. Maybe that will change as a market place for the less invasive NFC "tattoo" or eTattoo emerges. The eTattoo has the benefit of concealed wearable tech, while retaining the ability to discard it. But what use does it really have in today's world?
The most famous use for the eTattoo is tapping a mobile phone against it to unlock the mobile. Unlocking a mobile phone is usually done through finger muscle memory, so not worth the hassle of setting up an eTattoo to do an already easy procedure. Something bigger needs to happen for eTattoos to go mainstream.
To dig a little deeper I caught up with VivaLnk who have developed an eTattoo called eSkin.
VivaLnk currently sees a market for eSkin at events and for promotions. By creating an eTattoo that is waterproof and can be worn for a week, VivaLnk believe that brands and marketing agencies will dream up the first real uses for the wearable tech. A few examples are using eSkin at music events for checking in or activating custom mobile apps.
What's missing though, is a way for people to program their eTattoo to control everyday procedures such as micro payments, travel and actions on their mobile phone. To some degree we can already do all of those things, but not on a chip of our choice.
The missing service is a secure chip management system that is hosted in the cloud. The service signs up banks, city travel and home automation companies that all give access to their cloud systems. The user purchases an eTattoo from said service and connects their choice of services to the eTattoo.
When a company these type of companies start to appear there will finally be a real use for wearing an eTattoo. Then as people start to get fed up of their eTattoos falling off, they'll want to insert a microchip into their body. That is when the microchip will emerge as a ubiquitous technology. The following emergence from the microchip will be sensors that can detect DNA sequences from afar, making the health risk of having a microchip obsolete.