Employee Microchipping Isn't As Invasive As You Might Think. . .
“We must develop as quickly as possible technologies that make possible a direct connection between brain and computer, so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than opposing it...” – Stephen Hawking
You may hear the words ‘Employee Microchipping’ and instantly think the idea completely ludicrous. However, some companies have put this into use and it has proven a hit with their employees. The idea itself is daunting at first, but when you delve into the facts and benefits of this, you begin to see why businesses are microchipping their workers. When you try to picture this microchip you think of it as a massive piece of metal with tonnes of wires and in your mind it seems somewhat like a horrific piece of technology. In fact, the chip itself is the size of a grain of rice, pheww much more practical!
Microchipping Employees helps the overall workplace environment. The microchip would allow you to gain insight into your fellow employees automatically by simply stepping into a room. You can access immediate data from their names and job role to a variety of other data. You may be wondering, well what is wrong with communicating with people direct? We have been doing it for years! Well, yes, your point is valid and the traditional way we communicate is still a prominent feature in the workplace; however, with modern technology wouldn’t it be great to get to know someone before the stage of actual communication? This would not only improve employee communication but also change the way in which people interact.
The microchip would enhance and modernise workplace or business security and also make it convenient. The chip would allow you to gain access to locked doors in and around the building, only allowing authorised personnel into specific areas, according to the data stored on the chip.
Is This Ethical?
Putting the microchip physically under someone’s skin for their work brings about many concerns for some. Is there really a massive need for this? The implications and features make this a highly desirable, flash tech toy that could become more popular due to it purely being something new and exciting. However, is this not just the same as pairing your smartphone to a network or speakers? This to some is more efficient than having a microchip inserted under the skin.
For identification purposes and overall employee information, this microchip would be a great addition the working environment. There would need to be a strict and efficient way to ensure data is kept protected. Furthermore there are concerns about data breaches, how can we really know where our data will be stored and who can access this? People are keen to ensure their privacy is never in jeopardy and within recent news, hacks are becoming more and more frequent.
Microchipping is still an area that many people do not know a lot about, therefore the level of trust may not be there just yet.
In regard to the workplace, what specifically would microchipping help with?
There are many features to microchips:
They store information about new and existing employees
The microchip can be used like a credit card, so you could purchase items at work, such as food and drink
They can be used to log in to your computer and swipe in and out of the building
They hold information about your work performance
Real Life Case Studies
Is the human body an appropriate place for a microchip? In a Ted talk, British scientist Mark Gasson discusses the idea of the microchip. He discusses and explores the question, can we enhance our body by implanting technology into it? This concept allows us to rethink and change, as Mark says, “the very essence of what it is to be human.”
Mark has gone through the process of having a microchip inserted into his hand and he discusses the implications of this. He talks about how he doesn’t notice it being there. His microchip contained the latest RFID technology, and he says that the chip is simply just there, and you don’t have to think about it.
With technology forever advancing and improving, is this idea going to rapidly turn into an innovative trend that every business will invest in? In the workplace, efficiency and working at a fast pace are generally seen as the key elements to progress. If the microchip came into general use it would help with convenience. It seems to be a very futuristic, robotic type idea, to physically input technology into a human being. Some are sceptical about having something unnatural and computerised inserted into their bodies, and ask “is it a step too far?” It comes down to your own level of ethics and the way you view technology.
Mark believes these chips to be the “cyborgs of science fiction” and suggests that in the future we may also become one of them too. The ideas of robotics and technology have become something that allows human engagement, and the two ideas almost going hand in hand.
These talks were from around 2012, so what is the development since then? In 2018, there have been increasing numbers of people opting to get the microchip. There is a company in the UK called bioteq which are the UK's leading human technology implant specialists. Based in Hampshire, they also manufacture all their products in the UK.
The company, which launched in 2017, have a range of products which are currently available to purchase on their website. This includes the RFID microchip which costs £239.95. The services included for this price are installation from a medical doctor, as well as pre and post after care. Furthermore, the chip offers a “range of control functions in the real world.”
Employee Microchipping - Is This The Future?
The microchip is becoming more frequently spoken about in recent news in terms of convenience and security in the workplace. The different areas for its implementation in the workplace are something that businesses are currently discussing, as well as learning about the benefits. Companies in the US and Sweden have already implemented microchips into the workplace with great success.
In the end, microchipping is a concept that has polarised public opinion. Some see it as something highly robotic, and others see the benefits of its implementation. The idea of having data stored under the skin can be argued either way, whether this is simply a trend where the novelty will wear off, or a proven step towards innovation for the future.
In terms of intertwining robotics and computer technology with human beings, this is certainly a fascinating subject and it will be very interesting to see the developments in this field over the coming years.
Back to News