A company out of Wisconsin has announced that it will begin offering microchip implants to all of its employees beginning next month. We probably all knew this day was coming, but now Three Square Market (otherwise known as 32Market) has decided that it will be the one to usher us into the future. If you’re thinking of the implications this has for Big Brother and the surveillance state after reading that headline up above, you certainly aren’t alone.
However, this new initiative from Three Square Market seems to be fairly innocuous. For starters, employees are offered these RFID microchips on a voluntary basis, meaning that no one is obliged to have them implanted. Three Square Market expects that about 50 employees with have the chips implanted on August 1 during an inaugural “chip party” hosted by the company.
So, what do these microchips do? They’ll be implanted underneath the skin between the thumb and the forefinger and will use NFC to communicate with other devices. Three Square Market envisions employees using these chips to do things like open doors and login to their computers. Perhaps most importantly, microchips will also be used to make purchases from 32Market’s break room micro market.
That last feature makes a lot of sense, because after all, Three Square Market provides those micro markets for other businesses. Micro markets are best described as mini self-serve convenience stores, allowing employees to pick out food and drinks and then pay for them at a self-serve kiosk. Not only could these RFID chips become an appealing feature of Three Square Market’s micro market business, but the company is also expecting it to help grow its other self-checkout businesses.
Presumably, the functionality of these RFID microchips wouldn’t have to be limited to use within Three Square Market’s walls. Once they’ve been implanted, for instance, employees could also load payment information on them for use at non-32Market machines which support NFC. We can certainly see a future for RFID microchip implants, but this may still throw up some red flags for those who are worried about issues with surveillance.
What’s your take? Would you volunteer to get an RFID microchip implanted if your employer offered it? Head down to the comments section and share your thoughts!