A Wisconsin company has just announced that they will be the first firm in the United States to offer their employees the option to get microchip implants. Once thought to be way too expensive and technologically advanced, this is now a possibility for the world.
The idea is that every employee of Three Square Market will have the option to put a chip in their wrist area that will be scanned by the chip readers. This will allow them access to all the same areas they would normally have to use their key codes to enter. Also, the chips are connected to their credit cards and can interface with the vending machines for food and drink charges. This is obviously just the beginning of the applications, but it shows a lot of potential.
One of the most interesting parts about this is that the cost has come down to $300 per implant, which is really not a lot in the scheme of things. As the technology advances and scales out, it is likely that this number will come down even more.
As always, there are many who are concerns about the Orwellian aspects of this advancement. It is thought to impede upon boundaries of privacy and good taste, and critics are worried that this idea will be extended to its natural limit, where everyone can be tracked wherever they are. What they are forgetting is this is a voluntary project and only applies in work situations.
In the future, it may be possible for anyone who wants a microchip to have one. At this point, there will be legitimate worries about whether this invades all privacy by allowing the government and big corporations too much access to the data these chips provide, but this is not a new issue. Search engines and social networks have been collecting massive amounts of data for a long time, and nothing bad has happened as of yet.
There is huge potential for this technology to save lots of lives as doctors and emergency personnel can now instantly learn a patient’s medical history or whereabouts in the case of an emergency. Weighing the pros and cons of this will be the responsibility of the user, but should definitely be an option as soon as the technology allows it.