US company microchip 41 employees at 'chip party'

US company microchip 41 employees at 'chip party'

Nearly half of employees at a Wisconsin technology company agreed to be voluntarily microchipped during a "chip party" at the firm's headquarters.

Employees at Three Square Market, also known as 32M, said they felt a brief sting when they received the microchip implant in their hand.

The chip will allow them to open doors, log on to computers or buy snacks in the break room by simply waving their hand.

The company, based in River Falls, said 41 of its 85 employees agreed to be voluntarily microchipped.

Melissa Timmins, vice president of sales at 32M, said she was initially apprehensive but decided to give the chip a chance.

"I planned for the worst and it wasn't bad at all," said Ms Timmins, who received a microchip in her left hand. "Just a little prick."

But marketing executive Katie Langer passed, citing health concerns related to putting a foreign object into her hand, while noting the chip received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2004.

"But that's still not very long term in my book, so I'd just like to know more about the long-term health effects," Ms Langer said.

She added that she is not ruling out a future implant of the $300 microchip, which is being paid for by Three Square Market.

Company leaders said this is the first US appearance of technology already available in Europe.

Officials said the data in the microchip is encrypted and does not use GPS, so it cannot be used to track employees or obtain private information.

The company hopes the microchips can eventually be used on everything from air travel to public transit and storing medical information.

Professor Jeremy Hajek, of the Illinois Institute of Technology, said microchipping started years ago with veterinarians implanting the device in dogs and cats that might get lost.

"And so there's a little bit of a ... demeaning factor that this is what they do to little animals," Prof Hajek said.

But Noelle Chesley, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said she thinks implanting microchips into employees - and all people - is the wave of the future.

Many of those at the edge of developing those technologies "believe we are going to be combining technology in our bodies", Ms Chesley said.

AP

More in this Section

Bombing kills 24 at Afghan president’s rallyBombing kills 24 at Afghan president’s rally

Iran closes door on talks with US amid Saudi oil attack tensionsIran closes door on talks with US amid Saudi oil attack tensions

Who are the key players involved in Britain's Supreme Court prorogation case?Who are the key players involved in Britain's Supreme Court prorogation case?

Supreme Court to hear appeals over Boris Johnson’s suspension of ParliamentSupreme Court to hear appeals over Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament


Lifestyle

Whether you’re into a ‘no make-up make-up’ look or jet black lipstick, LFW had it all.These are the biggest beauty looks from a vampy London Fashion Week

It will take you out of your beauty comfort zone, but is remarkably easy to pull off.London Fashion Week: This top make-up artist wants you to ditch your cat-eye for a ‘blue fade’

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a 20-something man who isn’t having any luck meeting women in bars and clubs.Ask a counsellor: ‘Neither me or my mates have had a date for years – what are we doing wrong?’

As Aussie beer and cider brand Gayle launches in the UK, Abi Jackson finds out more from co-founder Virginia Buckworth.‘Brewed with love’: How new Aussie brand Gayle is putting ‘gay ale’ on the world drinks map

More From The Irish Examiner