In the latest move toward a brave new world, a European company has offered its employees a chance at becoming cyborgs.
NewFusion, a Belgian digital marketing and tech firm, recently took steps to make biohacking a company-wide initiative, Sputnik reports. Instead of old-school ID badges, NewFusion's workers can opt for a microchip implant in their hands to gain access to the company's HQ and computer systems.
We'll say that again: Employees can get physical chips surgically implanted into their flesh to access their building and computers.
Employees can choose between a full-on electronic radio frequency identity (RFID) chip hand implant, which is inserted between the thumb and index finger, or a chipped ring if they aren't quite ready to join the transhumanist movement. The chips contain their owner's personal data, along with allowing access to the company's assets.
While NewFusion is likely the first Belgian company to implement a microchipping initiative, the tech is becoming more widespread. Last summer, Mashable profiled Amal Graafstra, a biohacking evangelist at the forefront of the DIY-implant movement, who sells the concept through his Dangerous Things company and TED Talks.
Similar implants are also in use in the Czech Republic, thanks to a nonprofit called Paralelni Polis, which offers Bitcoin-based transactions via the microchips.
The microchips are handy, but they raise ethical and philosophical questions about personal security and safety. While Graafstra's Dangerous Things gadgets don't track their wearers, other implantable systems could — which would be especially concerning if the system is inserted by an employer.
At the very least, the implants might make employee turnover a little more complicated. Who wants to undergo a surgical procedure every time they switch jobs?