Would you install a microchip in your hand to forgo digging around for your keys or ID? The majority of employees--more than 50 of 85-- at U.S.-based Three Square Market jumped at the chance. While the rest of the world is busy watching Silicon Valley, Singapore, London and other major tech markets, the company—based in a small town of just 15,000 people—flew under the radar with a low-key “chipping party,” during which the $300 microchips were provided free of charge alongside chips and salsa.
Three Square Market is just one company at the forefront of the emerging “human chipping” movement. Around the globe, people have been joining the chipping movement, or dabbling in it, for years. Prior to Three Square Market, Swedish startup-hub, Epicenter, offered chipping to workers, many of whom have gotten on board with the fintech trend. A Belgium-based company also offers chipping to its workers.
employees can pay for food or swipe into the building at the wave of a hand
What benefits does Three Square Market see for chipping? Now, its employees can pay for food or swipe into the building at the wave of a hand. The chip (which is as small as a grain or rice) is inserted between the thumb and forefinger to take the struggle out of any task involving RFID technology. In the future, the chip could enable those with the chips to buy snacks at vending machines that support the technology, or more.
The innovative program was made possible by joining forces with Biohax International, a global leader in microchips whose ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between IoT and “The Internet of Us.”
Though renewable and approved by some global regulatory bodies, the sheer newness of implanting chips in humans raises health concerns. It also stirs up controversy regarding privacy and ethics. Some are worried about the potential of these chips to track employee productivity, purchases, or other unintended data.
However, supports of chipping stand by its purpose: to give data only when data is requested. And for employees at Three Square Market and other chipping companies, time will tell if human chipping is worth it.