Swede becomes first person to board a plane with just a wave of his hand

As throngs of weary travellers streamed through one of Europe’s busiest travel hubs, the female security guard at Stockholm Arlanda Airport looked up at Andreas Sjostrom, confused.


Somehow, without a boarding pass or even a smartphone, Sjostrom had managed to activate her scanner, and the system was telling her to let him in.


Sjostrom is not a robot or a Jason Bourne-style secret assassin; he’s simply a curious Swede who decided to have a microchip implanted in his hand with his frequent flyer identification number on it.


He’s the first person in the world to get on a plane this way, sailing through security, then into the Scandinavian Airlines lounge and onto his flight to Paris in late December.


“It was a fluent experience,” Sjostrom, the vice-president of digital for a tech consulting company, told the Star by phone from Stockholm.


“Just the feeling that I carry something that cannot run out of batteries because it’s not battery-powered — it’s awakened by the reader when I come close to it, and I can’t lose it … I am actually carrying the right to travel. You can strip me of everything and the system will let me in anyway.”


The 43-year-old is a frequent flyer on Scandinavian Airlines. He bought a kit online and had the airline encrypt his EuroBonus number, used to keep track of bookings, on what’s called a near field communication (NFC) chip.


He then had a nurse inject the chip into his hand. And when he placed it over the scanners at the airport, the machines could read the data.


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