Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will launch human-implantable capsules that have ‘digital certificates’ which can show who has been tested for the coronavirus and who has been vaccinated against it.
The 64 year old tech mogul and currently the second richest person in the world, revealed this yesterday during a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session while answering questions on the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.
Gates was responding to a question on how businesses will be able to operate while maintaining social distancing, and said that, “Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.”
The ‘digital certificates’ Gates was referring to are human-implantable ‘QUANTUM-DOT TATTOOS’ that researchers at MIT and Rice University are working on as a way to hold vaccination records. It was last year in December when scientists from the two universities revealed that they were working on these quantum-dot tattoos after Bill Gates approached them about solving the problem of identifying those who have not been vaccinated.
The quantum-dot tattoos involve applying dissolvable sugar-based microneedles that contain a vaccine and fluorescent copper-based ‘quantum dots’ embedded inside biocompatible, micron-scale capsules. After the microneedes dissolve under the skin, they leave the encapsulated quantum dots whose patterns can be read to identify the vaccine that was administered.
The quantum-dot tattoos will likely be supplemented with Bill Gates’ other undertaking called ID2020, which is an ambitious project by Microsoft to solve the problem of over 1 billion people who live without an officially recognized identity. ID2020 is solving this through digital identity. Currently, the most feasible way of implementing digital identity is either through smartphones or RFID microchip implants. The latter will be Gates’s likely approach not only because of feasibility and sustainability, but also because for over 6 years, the Gates Foundation has been funding another project that incorporates human-implantable microchip implants. This project, also spearheaded by MIT, is a birth control microchip implant that will allow women to control contraceptive hormones in their bodies.
As for ID2020, to see it through, Microsoft has formed an alliance with four other companies, namely; Accenture, IDEO, Gavi, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The project is supported by the United Nations and has been incorporated into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative.
It will be interesting to see how Bill Gates and ID2020 will execute all this because many Christians, and surprisingly a growing number of Shia Muslims, are very opposed to the idea of microchipping and any form of body-invasive identification technology. Some Christian legislators and politicians in the United States have even tried to ban all forms of human microchipping.
But, on the other hand, this is Bill Gates’ perfect opportunity to see the projects through because as the coronavirus continues to spread and more people continue to die from the pandemic, the public at large is becoming more open to problem-solving technologies that will contain the spread of the virus.