The company is Three Square Market, right across the St. Croix River in River Falls. Employees, Three Square Market announced last week, can choose to get a rice grain-sized chip implanted into their hand – right in that webby spot between the thumb and pointer finger.
This chip – which, again, is optional – will let the workers wave their hand near things to interact. So they can buy treats from the break room mart, print things, log on to computers, open doors, and apparently more.
Three Square Market says it expects 50 staffers to get the implant, which will happen Aug. 1 at a "chip party."
How do they get the chip in there?
The announcement just says it's implanted "within seconds." We of course were curious what exactly that meant, so checked YouTube.
Maybe we're just squeamish, but two producers watched it and were grossed out. Because it kind of looks painful.
Here's a video from June showing someone from the Swedish company Järna Kommunikation getting the chip implanted.
At the end of the video, someone puts a phone over the the implantee's bandaged hand, and it opens up their LinkedIn profile.
How the technology works
The chip uses Radio-Frequency Identification technology, where information can be read and accessed with electromagnetic fields. To get the chip "talking" with other things, it uses near-field communications – just like what mobile payment systems use.
Three Square Market is partnering with BioHax International and Jowan Osterland, CEO, from Sweden for the new program.
Three Square Market's product can actually benefit from this. The Wisconsin company operates self-service mini marts that other businesses can put in their office for employees to buy stuff from.
The company says there are more than 20,000 in the U.S., and that number is growing.
And we're just guessing, but maybe one day soon they'll all accept hand-implanted chips as a method of payment.