Mark of the Beast: Australian implants to aid payments with a wave of the hand?

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RFID chips coming to every day Australian life? Photo: BoldLions

It is the future that many concerned citizens have warned for decades about: A world where digital ‘research’ would evolve to include the fundamentals of human biology; A world creeping towards a cyborg-like age with microchips and implants at the forefront – just as George Orwell conjured in his dystopic visions for humanity.

It seems he was right; As we have seen increasing examples of technological tyranny advance exponentially since the new century has begun – such as the development of the VeriChip device, RFID implants for iPhones, houses and much more (we will explore some of these at the end of the article).

This week, in an article published by The Australian, it has been revealed that Visa and the University of Technology in Sydney have announced a partnership to explore the future of ‘wearable technology’, including the development of a new implanted device to make every day transactions easier for the public:

Is it retail therapy gone mad? The dawn of a new cyborg age? Or a new meaning to going down under?

Whatever the case, a fair proportion of Australians are receptive to technology mixing with their precious human organic flesh, if it means making payments at retail stores is easier.

Thirty-two per cent would be interested in paying with a smartwatch; 29 per cent with a smart ring, and 26 per cent with smart glasses.

It is little wonder Visa regards Australians as adventurous with tech. “Australians are among the world’s earliest adopters of new technology,” said George Lawson, Head of Emerging Products and Innovation for Visa in ANZSP.

The article reveals that a concerning number of Australians – including 25% of those surveyed – are ‘slightly interested’ in the notion of having a chip implanted in their skin as an effective way to make payments over the counter, as a subcutaneous chip would let consumers pay at a retail terminal without a wallet, credit card, smart phone or smart watch.

This new approach would allow consumers to simply wave their bare hand over an outlet, similar to phone-and-chip responsive technology already introduced to the retail industry across Australia in recent years.

The survey was conducted for the global payments firm by UMR, who provide full-service opinion research based in Australia and New Zealand and work across the Asia Pacific region.

The CEO of UMR, Campbell White has a PhD in Social and Media PsychologyFurthermore, John Utting – the Company Director – has served as a pollster for two Australia Prime Ministers, three New Zealand Prime Ministers and numerous Australian State Premiers.

The idea of a commerce-oriented chip being implanted into human flesh continues to be normalised in the world today, despite being a topic of ‘conspiracy’ and ‘unrealistic approach’ even a decade ago across the globe.

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