Wisconsin Firm Swaps ID Cards For Microchips

Wisconsin Firm Swaps ID Cards For Microchips

first_imgWisconsin is not exactly the epicenter of US technology. But the flyover state is about to make history as a locally operated company becomes the nation’s first to offer microchip implants to employees.Starting Aug. 1, all Three Square Market (32M) workers can opt to have a RFID chip embedded in their hand.The device—about the size of a grain of rice—sits under the skin between the thumb and pointer finger, and acts as employee ID badge and credit card within the building.So, instead of having to remember personal identification or a wallet every time you leave your desk, just wave your hand to open locked doors, use office equipment, and pay for an afternoon snack.More than 50 Three Square Market staff members are expected to be voluntarily chipped—an option already available in some European companies.The River Falls-based company trades in micro markets: unattended self-checkout facilities are popping up in office buildings. Where there were once a couple of vending machines are now shelves brimming with prepackaged food and chilled cabinets stocked with drinks.32M entered the industry four years ago, and believes this microchip technology—which uses the same near-field communications (NFC) as contactless credit card and mobile payment machines—is “the next evolution in payment systems.”“We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems, much like micro markets have steadily replaced vending machines,” 32M CEO Todd Westby said in a statement.This program may eventually expand to the company’s other self-service applications being deployed in convenience stores and fitness centers.Three Square Market will pick up the tab for each employee’s $300 chip, which, according to local ABC news affiliate KSTP-TV, keeps data encrypted and secure, and does not feature any sort of GPS tracking.So your boss won’t know how many times you take a bathroom break or your preferred candy bar. At least, no more than the current level of in-office surveillance provides.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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