Imagine the ease of being able to pay for groceries with the swipe of a palm or unlocking a door with the wave of a person's hand.  Students easily share their files for a group project with the shake of a hand.
The idea of microchip implants have bred years of suspicion as a way for "Big Brother" to control the masses, and as a sign for the mark of the beast in the Book of Revelation.
However, beyond the "end of the world" speculation and Hollywood plotlines, the technology could be a practical way to maneuver through life.
Having an implant could open up endless possibilities with a simple hand motion.
Procedures for implants of other kinds, like pacemakers to regulate heartbeats, are becoming increasingly common. Although a pacemaker is implanted for health reasons, procedures are also being performed frequently for individuals to receive permanent, and yet nonessential, additions to their bodies.
What if microchip implants are the practical tattoos and body piercings of the future, done not out of necessity but by preference and even for everyday convenience.
Frank Swain, a freelance science writer, entertained the idea of burying a radio frequency identification chip (RFID) under his skin as an alternative to bus passes. Although he never became "London's first transport cyborg" as he said he would, people have run with this idea by taking the microchip out of the bus passes and inserting them into necklaces and bracelets.
Although some people may fear that implanting people with microchips would only lead to more surveillance and loss of privacy, it wouldn't be much more different than how easy it is to track someone today.
Many everyday actions already supply more information about an individual than he or she may be aware of.
With every swipe of a credit card, information is relinquished regarding what was purchased, where it was purchased and more.
Smartphones also have a tracking function that can allow anyone, from parents to employers, to monitor the location of an individual.
Would microchips really pose much more danger to personal information security than using credit cards and cellphones already do?
It seems like all the things that scare people the most about their privacy being taken away is already at risk.
But is society ready for information to be stored inside one's body, compared to being carried in a pocket?
Currently, identification cards, magnetic strips and pin cords exist as methods to verify one's identification, but implanting a chip into the bodies means that the identification process would be standardized into one form.
The implanted microchip would mean more convenience.
No more carrying drivers licenses, social security cards, passports, medical ID or credit cards. It also offers efficiency in transferring information that physical formats cannot achieve easily.
Though the direction of society seems to be heading toward more and more technological advances, in order for microchip implants to truly become a new standard it would have to reach certain breakpoints.
It would would need to be universalized, a large percentage of a country's population would need to be implanted with the technology. And it would also need stringent security protocols in order to guarantee a person's vital information be secure.

About Christina Nguyen

Christina Nguyen is a staff writer from the Spring 2014 COMM 471 class.