Buckle up, everyone: the future in which technology is embedded in our bodies isn’t far away – it’s already here. A Wisconsin-based company is offering its employees a new kind of “perk”: implanting a radio frequency identification device (RFID) under the skin, between their thumb and forefinger. The chip would let employees open doors, login to computers, and even buy snacks from a communal vending machine . . . kind of like a key card.
Three Square Market (32M), in partnership with Swedish company Biohax International, announced the optional program on July 20 in a press release. The company believes about 50 employees will participate and undergo the implant on August 1, during a “Chip Party.” The RFID chip uses near-field communications (NFC), which is the same kind of technology your phone uses for something like Apple Pay.
32M told ABC-affiliate KSTP 5 that the chip will not track employees’ locations and that any data received in the chip is “encrypted and secure.” Each RFID chip costs $300, but 32M is fronting the costs. The chief executive officer of 32M, Todd Westby, told KSTP 5 that the company merely wants to be ahead of the curve. “It’s the next thing that’s inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it,” he said.
Usually, we’re all about jumping on the next tech trend . . . but we think we’d choose to sit this one out.