The head of Germany’s main IT trade body told the audience at the opening ceremony of the CeBIT technology exhibition that one in four of his countrymen are happy to have a microchip inserted for ID purposes.
Professor August Wilhelm Scheer made the comments at an event this week to announce the start of the show which runs until Saturday in the German city of Hanover. With around 4000 companies from over 70 countries expected at the event, CeBIT continues to be the largest tech show in Europe according to its organisers.
As well as foretelling the imminent demise of the CD and DVD, Professor Scheer said that implanting chips into humans was going to become commonplace. “The speed of the development is not going to be reduced this decade,” he told an audience of tech execs and politicians including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Some developments can already be seen. CDs and DVDs are going to disappear as material sources of information. Wallpaper will be replaced by flat screens and many of us will have chips implanted beneath our skin by the end of next decade.
Rather than being based on pure speculation, Scheer said that his organistion BITKOM had actually conducted research which had shown that a quarter of Germans would be happy to have a chip implanted if it meant they could access services more easily.
“We just carried out a survey and one out of four people are happy to have a chip planted under their skin for very trivial uses for example to pass gates more quickly at a discotheque for example and to be able to pay for things more quickly in the supermarket,” said Scheer. “The wilingness of the population to accept our technology is certainly given.”
Tech implants are already gaining ground in the field of healthcare. Last August saw the first US implant of the Accent RF pacemaker. Combined with remote sensoring capabilities, the Accent allows doctors to more efficiently monitor patients, while patients enjoy the convenience of care from home.
As well as his predictions for more outlandish technologies, Scheer also made reference to the rise of cloud computing and the disruptive effect it was having on the software industry. “Cloud computing is something that is going to revolutionise the software industry and mix everything up,” he said. “That is forseeable already but there are going to be many surprises on top of that.”
Scheer also commented on Europe’s role as an innovator and user of technology but admitted that countries such as China and India were threatening to catch-up and even overtake. “We are the number four in Germany when it comes to be using of technology,” he said. “Europe by the way is the largest user and we are even ahead of Asia. But the Asian countries are of course going to catch-up.”
Green IT was one of the major focuses for the CeBIT event last year with around 2000 square meters given over to a dedicated Green IT World.