Smart RFID: Chip implant replaces passwords and ID badges

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Smart RFID: Chip implant replaces passwords and ID badges

Three Square Market, a Wisconsin firm that makes cafeteria kiosks to replace vending machines, will be the first in the U.S. to microchip their employees. The company is offering to implant the tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip into workers’ hands for free. The rice grain-sized chip, which costs approximately $300, will allow them to open doors, log in to computers and even purchase food. The microchip replaces passwords, ID badges and even credit cards.

Three Square Market RFID Chip

 Participating employees will have the chips, which use near field communication (NFC) technology, implanted between their thumb and forefinger. It’s an extension of the long-running implantable RFID chip business, based on a partnership with Swedish company Biohax International, where people have been chipped for years.

50 of the 80 employees at Three Square Market, a provider of self-service breakroom vending machines, voluntarily agreed to be chipped. “It stung for about an hour and a half,” company president Patrick McMullan said. The entire process took about a minute. The tattoo artist cleaned the skin, found a spot in the hand to pinch, inserted a syringe, installed the chip, then covered the spot with a bandage.

RFID implants were approved in the United States by the FDA as far back as 2004, but have not been used widely until now. The company says future uses of the microchip implant could include holding your passport and travel information, medical history, and GPS to safeguard children.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Three Square Market