Swedish company is outfitting employees with microchips for an unforeseen reason
The very notion of an employer offering microchip implants reeks of science fiction, but the year is 2016, and this stuff is a reality. We live in a world where people track their sleep, heartbeats and steps taken, but most of that monitoring happens on the surface. "Biohacking," as those familiar with the burgeoning industry call it, takes things to a deeper level.
I've written about this growing trend on the science-focused website Expanse. In an article covering a VICE video about under-the-skin tracking implants, I referred to biohacking as "a growing movement of people ... who feel that it's time for humanity to bypass the limits of evolution." VICE's video follows Tim Cannon, a man who installed a temperature-reading device into his own arm. Now a Swedish company called Epicenter has hopped on the biohacking bandwagon, offering its employees the chance to dive in hands first.
Fortunately, the science fiction tie-in to this story ends with the headline. Epicenter isn't using these implantable RFID (radio frequency identification) chips to track its workers for dystopian measures. The company is offering the service to make workers' days more efficient.
At Epicenter, an RFID tag placed beneath the skin of a user's hand will grant him access to many of the things around the office: doors, printers and the like. Employees who opt out are still free to use old-fashioned badges, but it's easy to see why time-pressed workers might value the efficiency of hands-free operation.
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