Swedish Company Offers Free Microchip Implants To Its Employees
While it may be a good practice for a company to keep a watch on their employees’ activities, this Swedish company has gone a step further.
Epicenter, a company in Stockholm, Sweden, implants chip into their employees, so that their bosses can monitor toilet breaks and how long they work. In other words, they are turning their employees into “cyborgs” by embedding them with tiny microchips.
For those unfamiliar, Cyborg (Victor “Vic” Stone) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books, who is used by scientists as a test subject for various intelligence enhancement projects.
“The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” said Patrick Mesterton,, co-founder and chief executive of Epicenter, an innovation and technology company.
The RFID (radio frequency identification chip) which is about the size of a grain of rice is inserted into employees’ hands of those who have volunteered for the chip implantation. It allows them to open doors of the company automatically, use electronic devices more efficiently and much more.
“You can do airline fares with it, you can also go to your local gym, so it basically replaces a lot of things you have other communication devices for, whether it be credit cards, or keys, or things like that. It’s an implant in the hand that enables them to digitize professional information and communicate with devices both personal and within Epicenter. Once ‘chipped’ with this technology, members can interact with the building with a simple swipe of the hand. Chips can also be programmed to hold contact information and talk to smartphone apps,” said Patrick Mesterton.
So, what about issues related to one’s security and privacy once the chip is implanted?
“Of course, putting things into your body is quite a big step to do and it was even for me at first,” said Mesterton, remembering how he had doubts about it in the beginning, which carry information that can be transmitted to other devices via electromagnetic waves, but cannot receive information themselves.
However, Mesterton doesn’t consider this as a real problem. “I mean, people have been implanting things into their body, like pacemakers and stuff to control your heart,” he said. “That’s a way, way more serious thing than having a small chip that can actually communicate with devices.”
So, how does the process work? The implants are injected into the fleshy area of the hand of the employee, just next to the thumb, by using pre-loaded syringes. The process barely lasts for a few seconds with hardly any screams or barely a drop of blood.
Epicenter, which has more than 100 companies and has around 2,000 workers, began implanting workers in January 2015. While “getting chipped” isn’t mandatory, it has become popular amongst Epicenter’s employees, with about 150 workers now implanted with the devices. The company even hosts monthly events where participants can get the implants for free, as well as parties to celebrate those who got implanted.
Sandra Haglof, 25, who works for Eventomatic, an events company that works with Epicenter, has already had three piercings before.
“I want to be part of the future,” she laughs while being implanted.