A Wisconsin vending technology company is reportedly the first in the U.S. to offer implanted microchip technology to its employees.
Wisconsin Public Radio reports that Hudson-based Three Square Market will utilize chips developed by Sweden's BioHax to allow employees to open doors, log into computers or buy break room snacks with a swipe of their hand.
The company plans to embed employees that opt into the program at a "chip party" next week. Officials expect more than 50 of its 92-employee workforce to participate.
The chip uses radio-frequency identification technology. Although much of the reaction to the news was unease about employee privacy, the chip cannot track employee movements because it does not contain GPS.
Three Square Market instead compared the chip to credit cards or mobile phones and predicted it would eventually be used for everything from public transit to passport information. The technology is already in use in some European workplaces, and the company said it would help grow Three Square Market's self-checkout systems.
Although a majority of employees are expected to sign up for the chip, officials conceded that the program, for many, likely conjured images of a dystopian workplace of the future.
"There are some people that are apprehensive and have questions and there’s others that just say, "that’s not for me,'" president and CEO Patrick McMullan told WPR. "We stressed right out of the gate that, 'Listen, we don’t want anybody to feel that they have to do this.'"