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Company Tags Employees with Microchip Implants

04-04-2017
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A company in Sweden is offering its workers microchip implants that function as swipe cards.

According to the Associated Press, the cards, which are the size of grains of rice, are implanted in the hand of workers, and enable them to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with the wave of a hand.

The injections are so popular that employees often host parties for those willing to get chipped. 

"The biggest benefit I think is convenience," said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter, in an interview with the AP.

He demonstrated how the chip works, by unlocking a door by waving near it.

"It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys."

The chip uses NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, the same as in contact-less credit cards or mobile payments.
 
Companies often use microchips to track deliveries but such chips are also used as virtual collar plates for pets.

Epicenter and a few other companies are the first to make the chips available under a worker's skin.

"Of course, putting things into your body is quite a big step to do and it was even for me at first," said Mesterton, remembering how he initially had had doubts.

"But then on the other hand, I mean, people have been implanting things into their body, like pacemakers and stuff to control your heart," he said. "That's a way, way more serious thing than having a small chip that can actually communicate with devices."

Some question whether the personal information contained inside the chips make employees at the company vulnerable to hacking, but most don't seem too concerned.

"People ask me; 'Are you chipped?' and I say; 'Yes, why not,'" said Fredric Kaijser, 47, the chief experience officer at Epicenter. "And they all get excited about privacy issues and what that means and so forth. And for me, it's just a matter of I like to try new things and just see it as more of an enabler and what that would bring into the future."

A 25-year-old woman at Epicenter commented, "I want to be part of the future."

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