Office Inserting Chips in Workers' Skin

Swedish office block offers employees high-tech access
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2015 2:45 PM CST
Office Inserting Chips in Workers' Skin
Stock image.   (Shutterstock)

Some Swedish workers can now enter their building without a key and make purchases at the office cafe sans card—with a chip implanted in their hand, the BBC reports. Epicenter, a new Swedish office block, is offering employees a miniscule RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip to provide various kinds of access. Not all are accepting it, but it's been offered to some 400 workers, the Independent reports. "We already interact with technology all the time," says bio-hacker Hannes Sjoblad, the "chief disruption officer" at the office block. "Today it's a bit messy—we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn't it be easy to just touch with your hand? That's really intuitive."

A BBC journalist had one inserted and said it wasn't too painful, but neither was it intuitive: His hand needed some twisting to activate an office photocopier. Yet Sjoblad and the Swedish Biohacking Group (which is behind the technology) sees this as just the beginning. They already hold chip-insertion parties at a Stockholm tattoo parlor, which the BBC depicts as part of a trend that's blending humans with technology—including smart watches, glucose-monitoring contact lenses, and the digital BioStamp tattoo that collects data on a person's health. "Some people are horrified by this," admits one advocate. But "years ago there was fear over vaccinations and now it seems perfectly normal to have cells injected into us. That is an early example of bio-hacking." (In development: A birth control chip that could last 16 years.)

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