Multiple European companies are experimenting with the idea of implanting microchips in their employees. This trend was not overly popular in the United States. That situation may change, as Three Square Market plans to implant RFID microchips in employees’ hands shortly. Although this is a marketing campaign more than anything else, it shows that there is a potential market for such implants.
U.S. Company Experiments With RFID Microchips
The partnership between Three Square Market and BioHax is worth following. Both parties will focus on “equipping” 32M employees with bio-friendly RFID microchips. These chips are implanted in employees’ hands and can be used to pay for food near one of the multiple break room food dispensers. It is a marketing stunt, yet it also makes the Wisconsin-based company the first U.S. enterprise to implant RFID microchips.
All of these RFID implants will be provided to 32M employees free of charge. There is no requirement to have these chips implanted and it is completely voluntary. On August 1st, there will be a “chip party” during which these implants will be introduced to employees. It is a novel idea, despite the implants being limited to usage in the break room for now. It is likely that the features of these chips will be expanded in the future.
Being able to buy food and coffee by waving one’s hand is not something most consumers on the street would necessarily show an interest in. However, our society is gravitating toward an era where digital and contactless payments start to gain traction. Using RFID implants could take advance this, but most people feel uncomfortable when it comes to body modifications. This is especially true in the U.S., where biohacking is rather unpopular.
The chips in question will unlock new abilities over time. Opening access doors, logging in to work computers, unlocking work phones and potentially storing health information are just some of the possibilities. It is unclear whether all of these features will be unlocked, but they are certainly worth exploring as more time progresses. Three Square Market hopes that their initiative will convince other U.S. businesses to take a similar approach toward RFID implants for employees.
There is a strong connection between these implants and contactless payment cards. Both devices use the same NFC communication protocol to transmit payment information. However, the main difference is that one’s RFID implant cannot be forgotten, as it is implanted underneath the skin between thumb and forefinger. It is possible some employees may experience negative body reactions to this implant, but everything is done to minimize the impact as much as possible.
It is good to see at least one U.S. company paying attention to this potential new trend. Implanting RFID implants is a rather new “industry,” and a lot of research must be done in the coming years to make these procedures even safer. Before that can be done, more and more people will need to have their own chips implanted. It is unclear if these particular chips will be removed once employees leave the 32M company.