A Wisconsin company says it will be the first in the country to implant microchips in most of its employees. The microchip will allow employees to do things such as buy snacks from vending machines, log in to computers or use the copy machine.
According to Reuters, about 50 of the 80 employees at Three Square Market, a Wisconsin-based vending company, have agreed to an optional implant of microchips. The microchips use a technology similar to that used by contactless credit cards and chips used to identify pets.
The company, which provides self-service “micro markets” to businesses around the world, was inspired by the micro-chipping already taking place in Sweden, where so called “bio-hackers” have been inserting the tiny chips into willing participants for at least three year, according to BBC.
The implants made by Sweden’s BioHax International are part of a long-term test aimed to see if the radio-frequecy identification chips could have broader commercial applications, said Three Square Market vice president of international sales Tony Danna.
The company is holding an Aug. 1 “chip party” where employees will have the device inserted between their forefinger and thumb using a syringe-like instrument, according to Reuters.
According to CBS News, the company is offering the chips, which cost about $300 a piece, to its employees for free.
The chips are similar in size to a grain of rice. A professional piercer has to implant it, but experts say to take it out, it’s as easy as removing a splinter, according to CBS News.
Once implanted, any task involving RFID technology – swiping into the office building, paying for food in the cafeteria – can be accomplished with the wave of a hand, according to The New York Times.
Many have wondered if the chips could be used as a tracking device.
“That is going to be the ineviable reaction,” said Danna. “But, there is no GPS tracking ability to it. It’s really the same thing as the chip that is in your credit card.”