A US vending business is entering a new era of convenience by implanting microchips in employees that will allow them access to basic workplace amenities.
At least 50 staff at Wisconsin firm Three Square Market have volunteered to have a microchip, similar to one in a contactless credit card, inserted into their hand, according to the company.
Three Square Market says the volunteers will be able to use the tiny electromagnetic device to bypass login requirements and buy food on their lunch breaks.
Implanted between the thumb and forefingers, the microchip uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication technology (NFC) to read information stored on external objects or products.
Toddy Westby, CEO of the company, described the microchipping as the “next evolution” in payment systems and suggested the technology could one day replace the passport.
“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, and storing medical/health information,” Westby said.
“Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport,” he added.
The encrypted chip normally costs $300, but will be provided to volunteers at the company free of charge.
Public microchipping begins as workers receive chip implants
The Wisconsin company has become the first employer in the United States to start microchipping its workforce. Employees at the software company Three Square Market are being microchipped by having a RFID chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted into their hands between their thumb and forefinger. The tiny microchips are embedded under the skin in the fleshy part of the hand and will allow employees to use office equipment, pay for items from vending machines, and to gain access through security locked doors.
Three Square Market Chief Executive Officer Todd Westby said: “It’s the next thing that’s inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it.”
The company designs software for break room markets that are commonly found in office complexes. Just as people are able to purchase items at the market using phones, Westby wants to do the same thing using a microchip implanted inside a person’s hand. “We’ll come up, scan the item,” he explained while showing how the process will work at an actual break room market kiosk. “We’ll hit pay with a credit card, and it’s asking to swipe my proximity payment now.”
“I’ll hold my hand up, just like my cell phone, and it’ll pay for my product.” More than 50 Three Square Market employees are having the devices implanted starting next week. Along with purchasing market kiosk items, employees will be able to use the chip to get into the front door and log onto their computers.
Westby added the data is both encrypted and secure. “There’s no GPS tracking at all,” he said. Although the devices won’t be able to track employees physical location, they will enable employers to keep a log of their comings and goings. Bosses will be able to keep track of worker’s timekeeping, see which door they passed through last and locate them in the building, see what they bought from the vending machines, and even how long their bathroom breaks last for.
October 17, 2017