Cyborg Employees? Company Offers Free Microchipping to Workers

microchip implant
A Verichip implant, designed to be implanted in the forearm. Chip implants for humans are becoming more popular; this implant is designed to provide medical information when scanned, but others are being used to open doors, log in to computers and operate company copy machines. (Image credit: David Friedman/Getty Images)

Free spin classes, extra vacation days, nap rooms, egg-freezing … cyborg implants?

While tech companies compete to provide the most luxurious perks to lure employees, one company is heading into sci-fi territory by offering its employees "free microchipping" – totally optional, company representatives said. The company, Three Square Market (32M), will provide the microchipping service, which normally costs $300, on Aug. 1, according to a statement.

The cyborg implant will allow employees the opportunity to log in to computers, open doors and use the copy machine without having to rely on analog alternatives like fingers and brains to accomplish those tasks.

The company expects about 50 employees to be chipped, according to the statement. While the program is voluntary, the company was apparently inspired by a European company, BioHax International, and sees microchipping its employees as a way to lead by example — the company anticipates such chips will fuel micropayments in the future and help its mobile-checkout technology grow, according to the statement.  

"We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals.  Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.," Todd Westby, 32M's CEO, said in the statement.

The microchips rely on the same radio frequency identification (RFID) technology used to track goods in a supply chain, find lost dogs and cats and clock people's times in marathons. The chips will be inserted below the skin in the space between the thumb and the index finger, according to the company.

Employees will be chipped at the totally normal, not-in-any-way dystopian, inaugural "chip party" at 32M's headquarters in River Falls, Wisconsin, according to the statement.

Originally published on Live Science.

Tia Ghose
Managing Editor

Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.