Epicenter, a Swedish startup hub is routinely injecting a microchip into its employee’s hands and creating yet another cyborg.
The company offers to give employees and members of its startup an implant that is the size of a grain of rice that works like swipe cards to operate printers, open doors or even buy a combo meal by a simple wave of the hand.
These microchip injections are becoming so popular that employees at Epicenter have parties for those who are willing to have an implant injection.
The benefit that appears to be the most popular is convenience said CEO and co-founder of Epicenter Patrick Mesterton.
What the implant does, said Mesterton is replaces a number of things such as keys and credit cards. The technology is nothing new, as these chips are currently used in pets’ virtual collar plates.
Businesses use the chips to track their deliveries. However, they have not been used previously to tag an employee on a large scale.
Epicenter along with a few other companies has become the first to make the implants available in a broad scale. As with many new technologies, it raises issues over privacy and security.
While they are safe biologically, the data the chips generate could show the frequency an employee arrives to work or what they purchase.
Unlike smartphones or swipe cards used by companies, which generate that same type of data, a person cannot separate themselves easily from their chip.
Epicenter, which is the home of over 100 different companies and more than 2,000 workers, started implanting workers over two years ago. At this time there are more than 150 workers that have the implants.
A company in Belgium offers its workers the same type implants and there have been a few isolated cases across the globe where techies have attempt this of recent.
The tiny implant uses technology known as Near Field Communication or NFC, which is the same as in many credit cards or mobile handset payments.
When it’s activated by a reader a few inches away, small amounts of data then flow between each device through electromagnetic waves.
These implants are considered passive, meaning they have information that can be read by other devices, but cannot read any information themselves.
One microbiologist said that huge amounts of information could be gained by hackers from the embedded microchips.
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