Jowan Österlund

Speaker, Jowan österlund
Founder & CEO, Biohax International
  • Jowan is the acting President of ASAP, the Swedish Association of Professional Piercing.
  • He has several biotech implants in his own body, including a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip.
  • Speaks Danish, English, Norwegian and Swedish.

In his most spectacular installation of an implant, Jowan performed the operation live onstage at Stockholm’s Globe arena. Projected on a giant screen, the average-sized needle he was using caused at least one person in the audience to faint. The client on stage didn’t flinch.

The biohacker

Jowan Österlund is getting under people’s skin, one microchip implant at a time. A body piercer turned biotech entrepreneur, he’s leading commercial biohacking in Sweden with his vision of seamless interaction between humans and technology. It’s an evolution that could shift us from the internet of things to what he’s dubbed “the internet of us.” Inspired by the possible realities embedded in science fiction, Jowan turned inspiration from things like the 1995 Keanu Reeves movie Johnny Mnemonic into research, reality and a career.

After over 15 years of experience in sterile procedure for piercing and body modification – he’s performed over 30,000 piercings – he founded Biohax International in 2013. The cornerstone of his company is Biohax, a passive near field communications device (no battery, tracking systems or GPS) that enables the carrier to provide identification and other security clearance in a connected environment, saving time and enhancing personal security. For Jowan, his company’s technology must go hand in hand with the standardization of bio-devices for the public, such as regulatory processes and development of legislation. Installations happen at Jowan’s full-service piercing studio, Federal City, where he performs NFC and RFID implants alongside piercing and body modification. Chips take less than a second to implant, are “safer than a piercing” and can immediately work with your phone, unlock doors, pay for purchases and integrate with other digital media, in effect letting humans easily speak the language of machines in a hyper-connected world.

“This is the digital Renaissance. And this [implant] is the art.”
Jowan at TEDxBratislava
  • Jowan is the acting President of ASAP, the Swedish Association of Professional Piercing.
  • He has several biotech implants in his own body, including a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip.
  • Speaks Danish, English, Norwegian and Swedish.

In his most spectacular installation of an implant, Jowan performed the operation live onstage at Stockholm’s Globe arena. Projected on a giant screen, the average-sized needle he was using caused at least one person in the audience to faint. The client on stage didn’t flinch.