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.