Workers in a Swedish office complex called Epicenter get around using high-tech microchips embedded in their hands. The microchip allows employees in the building to access security doors, use the photocopier, and even pay for their lunch, all with the swipe of their hand.
BBC News reports that tenants of the Epicenter building are offered the ability to have a tiny RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in their hands that will give them access to various services within the building.
Popular Science notes that the microchip offers a convenient way for employees to access items that traditional require a card or key of some sort and provides the building with a digital log of data that would have previously been too “mundane to record.”
“At Epicenter, these chips literally provide access; doors open at the wave of a microchipped hand, and instead of fumbling for a card to activate the office printer, people instead press their hands against a chip reader. In turn, the door and the printer recognize which person who uses them, creating a digital log of behaviors once too mundane to record.”
It isn’t just tenants in the building who have had the microchip embedded. The building’s chief executive had his microchip implanted live on stage during the building’s opening ceremony, noting that he had to be chipped in order to “get to grips” with the technology he was providing.
“On the day of the building’s official opening, the developer’s chief executive was, himself, chipped live on stage. And I decided that if was to get to grips with this technology, I had to bite the bullet – and get chipped too.”
The Daily Mail reports that Hannes Sjoblad, the chief disruption officer at the Swedish bio-hacking group BioNyfiken, which implanted the chips into the Epicenter workers, sees a bright future for micro-chipping within the workforce and beyond. Sjoblad notes that people are already interacting with technology on a daily basis, but it is messy. Why not make it more convenient?
“We already interact with technology all the time. Today it’s a bit messy — we need pin codes and passwords — wouldn’t it be easy to just touch with your hand?”
Sjoblad notes that by offering the microchip RFID technology to the business segment first, it will allow us to better understand the technology.
“We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped – the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip.”
Aside from making daily activities, such as opening a secure door or paying for your lunch, easier, the RFID technology can even make life easier for amputees or the disabled. In fact, back in 1999, Professor Kevin Warwick, of Reading University, utilized microchip technology embedded in his nervous system to control a robot arm with nothing more than his thoughts.
These types of implications are endless, as Sjoblad notes that we have “only just started discovering all of the things having a microchip could allow us to do.”
[Image Credit: BBC]