Earlier in August, the employees at Three Square Market, a technology company in Wisconsin, made the decision that they are perfectly alright with having a chip injected in their hand.
The chip is the size of a grain of rice and it is placed between their thumb and index finger. After that, any task that involves RFID technology, such as paying for food in the cafeteria or entering the office building via swiping, is achieved with just a hand wave. The chips are passive – they don’t have batteries and get their power when data is requested from and RFID reader.
What is interesting is the fact that the program was not mandatory, yet, since the experiment started a year ago, around 80 out of a total of 250 employees have volunteered to get the chips implanted.
The program is a partnership between Three Square Market and Biohax International, a Swedish company. It has been done before at a Swedish company called Epicenter and the chips are becoming increasingly more used in the country, but it is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.
The microchips are also being tested at two hospitals, one in Indiana and another in Wisconsin, which are meant to verify when doctors and nurses wash their hands. They wear bracelets that incorporate the chip, which is scanned on an RFID reader in order to turn on the sink.
Of course privacy is an issue, since the chip stores information and the theory is that the chip could be accessed with a reader and easily give out any information it contains. The chips are partially encrypted but at the same time, it’s just as easy to steal personal information from one’s wallet, if you really think about it.
Nonetheless, if the chips are to be implemented, tested and worked on, it’s definitely at a company like Three Square Market, who seems to have their eyes set on the future.