On Monday, the Associated Press spotlighted the Swedish company Epicenter, whose employees are implanted with a microchip to “to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.”
AP underlined that “the injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.”
Despite this claim, only 150 out of 2,000 employees of the company have opted for the microchip.
The wire service article sparked new press coverage of “what could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace.” However, the CEO of Epicenter contended that “the biggest benefit, I think, is convenience.”
AP noted that the Swedish firm “began implanting workers in January 2015.” The International Business Times actually covered this development a month later in February 2015 (see video below).
IBTimes quoted one of the employees, who disclosed that “it felt pretty scary, but at the same time, it felt very modern, very 2015.” Apparently, it is also “very 2017,” as AP just got around to covering Epicenter’s controversial practice. A possible new development is their mention that a Belgian company has also offered such microchip implants for its employees.
The Associated Press write-up also mentioned the obvious privacy concerns over the microchip program.
Ben Libberton, a microbiologist at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, says hackers could conceivably gain huge swathes of information from embedded microchips. The ethical dilemmas will become bigger the more sophisticated the microchips become.
[image via screengrab]