Microchipping at work: US employees get voluntarily implanted at staff 'chip party'
Updated yesterday at 10:54am
Employees of a Wisconsin technology company who received a microchip implant in their hand said they felt only a brief sting during the procedure.
- Employees of a Wisconsin company have been voluntarily microchiped
- It is the first US appearance of technology that is already available in Europe
- The microchips will allow employees to log onto the company system, open doors and buy snacks
Three Square Market, also known as 32M, said 41 of its 85 employees agreed to be voluntarily microchipped during a "chip party" at company headquarters in River Falls yesterday.
The technology will allow employees to open doors, log onto computers or buy breakroom snacks by simply waving their hand.
"We came across this and saw it being used in other societies, we said why not us?" 32M chief operating officer Patrick McMullan said.
"Why not us, bring it and provide a solution that we can use for so many different things."
PHOTO: A microchip is shown compared with a dime at Three Square Market in Wisconsin. (AP: Jeff Baenen)
Melissa Timmins, vice-president of sales at 32M, said after learning more about the technology she decided to try out the chip.
"I'm excited to see what this can do," Ms Timmins said.
"I was a little apprehensive about more of the health part of it and actually implanting something into my body.
"But from day one I was excited about what we could do with the technology itself and where it could go for our company."
Ms Timmins said she hoped to eventually use it to get into her car or go shopping.
Noelle Chesley, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, said microchipping could give employers more power over their staff.
"Is it really voluntary when your employer is asking you if you would like to be microchipped?" Ms Chesley said.
"Will there come a day where people who prefer not to be microchipped won't get certain jobs?"
Ms Chesley said she thought implanting microchips into all people would be the wave of the future.
Company leaders said this was the first US appearance of technology already available in Europe.
Three Square Market paid for the $300 microchips.