Tech can offer conveniences such as not having to get out of your car to open the garage door or not having to get off the sofa to change the channel on the TV.
Now one US company is offering its employees a new convenience — implanting a microchip in their hands so they can perform tasks with a swipe of a hand.
Three Square Market, a Wisconsin company, is offering to implant microchips in all of their employees for free.
These chips will be implanted in the employees’ hands and can be used to identify the employee. Each one costs $300 and Three Square Market will pay for the chip.
After an employee has had a chip implanted, he or she can enter the office building, purchase food, log into computers and more, simply by swiping the chipped hand near a scanner.
The chip is about the size of a grain of rice and implanting the chip with a syringe only takes about a second. The procedure is supposed to sting for a few moments.
Participation in the program is voluntary and about 50 out of 80 employees have signed up so far. The president of the company, his wife and their children are also getting chips implanted in their hands.
While Three Square Market is the first company in the US to offer chips to their employees, Epicenter, a company in Sweden, has been implanting its chips in its employees for a while.
This video from USA Today shows how the Three Square Market microchips work:
Three Square Market will be holding a chip party on August 1, where employees who volunteer will have the chips embedded in their hands, between their thumb and forefinger. Chips and dip will be served at the party.
Employees who want convenience, but don’t want to have a microchip implanted under their skin, can wear a wristband or a ring with a chip instead. They can then swipe the same way as if they had an implanted chip.
The chip does not have a GPS device so cannot track the location of the employee, according to Three Square Marketing. Scanners must be within a few inches of the chips to read them.
Three Square Market says that the chips protect against identity theft by being encrypted, similar to credit cards. The FDA approved the chips back in 2004, so should be safe for humans, according to the company.
In the future, people with this chip may be able to do more with it beyond the office. “Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.,” said Todd Westby, the CEO of Three Square Market.
Would you volunteer to have a chip implanted in your hand by your employer? Vote in today’s Wonder of Tech poll and let us know:
Do you think having a chip implanted in your hand would be convenient? Would you volunteer to have the chip implanted in your hand? Would you work for an employer that required a chip be implanted in your hand?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
*Microchip image courtesy of Alejandra H. Covarrubias via Flickr and Creative Commons
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