Epicenter is a new office complex which recently opened in Central Stockholm with the aim of creating a hothouse environment for established tech companies and start-ups. So far, so so-so, but the launch story included an item about a number of employees who were voluntarily microchipped. The aim the owners say is to have all employees working in the building chipped so they only need to wave their hand to pay for food in the café, open doors, log in to computers and phones or use a photocopier.
The organisation behind the Epicenter chipping is BioNyfiken.se who describe themselves as Biohackers. For those who haven’t come across biohacking, the BioNyfiken website explains that biohacking looks at the many ways we can control and influence the body’s biological processes ranging from diet to electronics, including using implants to modify the body in extreme ways.
How it works
A microchip the size of a grain of rice (much like an pet’s microchip) is ‘injected’ into the willing recipients hand. We’ve been microchipping animals for years with passive RFID chips (Radio-frequency identification) which contain a microchip which the animal’s details are stored on, it requires a reading machine to access the data. The human microchips can initiate a range of actions when the chip (transponder) is in close proximity to the device (detector) that’s picking up the data.
Human microchipping isn’t new, in 1998 as part of Project Cyborg, Professor Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at The University of Reading had an RFID transmitter implanted in his arm for nine days which was used to control doors, lights, heaters, and other computer-controlled devices when he was in close proximity to them.
More recently one US micro chippee was reported as saying he thought it would be ‘cool’ to have one, but was a little disappointed that so far the chip couldn’t actually do much for him.
Swipe cards vs Cyborgs
Microchipping could deliver medical benefits, there are strong advocates for and against the principles of human microchipping, certainly microchipping employees to interact with their office space could be considered somewhat extreme.
You can extend the functionality of RFID swipe cards and proximity fobs designed for clocking in systems to work in office environments with vending machines to provide cashless vending and photocopying – painlessly!
If you’d like to find out about creating a more ‘intelligent’ office/site with RFID swipe card functionality, get in touch – but we definitely don’t offer human microchipping!