A Hudson company is thought to be the first American business to offer microchip implants to its employees.
Three Square Market makes self-checkout technology that can be used at vending machines, convenience stores, and fitness centers. Partnering with a Swedish firm called Biohax, they've come up with chips that can be implanted in employees hands to let them unlock office doors and buy snacks in the break room.
Three Square Market president and CEO, Patrick McMullan, said the implants are entirely voluntary but so far, 50 of the 92 employees at the company's Hudson headquarters opted for the chip.
"There are some people that are apprehensive and have questions and there’s others that just say, "that’s not for me,'" McMullan said. "We stressed right out of the gate that, 'listen, we don’t want anybody to feel that they have to do this.'"
The technology is used in other countries like Sweden, Germany, Romania, the United Kingdom and Ireland, McMullan said. He views it as another step toward moving to a cashless society.
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"The chip in essence is the same thing that is in your credit card already. You have them in your mobile phones and this is another step," he said.
The company can’t use the chips to track employees movements because they aren’t equipped with GPS, McMullan said.
The company will pay for the $300 chip and its implantation which he compared to having an ear pierced.
The company has had negative phone calls and social media feedback with some comparing the chip to the biblical "Mark of the Beast."