Chief Cyborg Officer: Interview with Jens-Peter Labus

In real life, Jens-Peter Labus is the CEO of MediaMarktSaturn IT Solutions. But on May 18th, during the "Digital Campus" exhibition for employees, he was appointed Chief Cyborg Officer (CCYO)! Beforehand, he’d had a digital implant inserted into his hand by digiwell which could for example be used instead of a door key or a car key.

Mr Labus, what exactly is a cyborg? 
The word cyborg comes from cyber – i.e. digital – and organic. In science fiction films, a cyborg is a person who has been upgraded using digital technology. The title Chief Cyborg Officer was a spontaneous idea by our CEO Pieter Haas after I’d had the implant inserted into my hand on stage. After all, I’d just been more or less upgraded, too!

What technologies have been hardwired in the implant?
The implant contains an NFC and an RFID transponder. Both devices only function passively – although they don’t transmit any information, data can be retrieved from them. It’s similar to an access card for buildings or the chip for contactless payments in some credit cards.

How do you think the new technology will help you? 
I’ve always been fascinated by new technology on the horizon – such as this implant. In just a few years, upgrades like this could be everyday items. Specifically, I’m hoping that this implant will mean that I won’t need to carry my door key around with me anymore because, thanks to the implant, my front door knows that it’s me trying to get in!

How do you see your role as Chief Cyborg Officer?
I regard myself as an ambassador. In IT, we’re looking for loads of new staff who are passionate about new technology. Demonstrating to candidates that their potential boss is just as passionate will show them that they’ve come to the right place!

Have you planned any more upgrades? 
Obviously, I want to keep on trying out new technology. But I can’t yet say for sure what type – otherwise I’d already be using it!