If you work in a secure environment, such as an office or lab, then most of you are used to swiping or tapping a key card to gain access to the building. What would you say if your employer asked you to have an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip inserted into your skin and use that instead of a swipe-card? A Swedish firm has taken that step by putting a chip under some of its employees’ skin.
Felicio de Costa’s company is one of the tenants in the Epicenter, a new hi-tech office block in Sweden. When he arrives at the front door to gain access to the building, he simply holds his hand against the door to. Once inside, he does the same thing to get into the office, he can also use his hand to operate office equipment such as the photocopier as well. This is due to the tiny RFID chip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in his hand. The RFID chip holds the necessary data the is required to operate the doors and office equipment.
The other people that are expected to occupy the office complex will also be offered the chance to be chipped. People will be able to gain access to doors and photocopiers initially and in the future they have been promised further services that will be made available via RFID, this includes the ability to pay for goods in the cafe too.
Not all staff seem that keen on the idea. “Absolutely not,” said one man when asked if he’d sign up to receive the RFID chip implants and an older woman said that she saw little point in being chipped just to get in through the door.
The RFID chips have been developed by a Swedish bio-hacking company and Epicenter hopes the chips will soon become the standard, globally.
“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,” said Hannes Sjoblad, one of the organisers.
BBC Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, also was chipped to test the device. He explained, “A rather fearsome looking tattooist, inserted my chip…First, he massaged the skin between my thumb and index finger and rubbed in some disinfectant. The he told me to take a deep breath while he inserted the chip. There was a moment of pain, not much worse than any injection, and then he stuck a plaster over my hand.”
I’m willing to try new technology for my job, but to be chipped is a step too far. Would you be willing to have the procedure done? Do you think the idea will become a standard in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Image via ibtimes]