At least 50 staff at Wisconsin firm Three Square Market have volunteered to have a microchip, similar to one in a contactless credit card, inserted into their hand, according to the company.
Three Square Market say the volunteers will be able to use the tiny electromagnetic device to bypass login requirements and buy food on their lunch breaks.
Implanted between the thumb and forefingers, the microchip uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication technology [NFC] to read information stored on external objects or products.
Toddy Westby, CEO of the company, described the microchipping as the “next evolution” in payment systems and suggested the technology could one day replace the passport.
“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, [and] storing medical/health information,” Westby said.
“Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport,” he added.
According to KSTP, the encrypted chip normally costs $300, but will be provided to volunteers at the company free of charge.