You can inject one under your skin and no one will ever notice. Using short-range radio frequency identification (RFID) signals, it can transmit your identity as you pass through a security checkpoint or walk into a football stadium. It can help you buy groceries at Wal-Mart. In a worst-case scenario – if you are kidnapped in a foreign country, for example – it could save your life.
32M is a Wisconsin company that sells “micro market technology” running over 2,000 kiosks in break rooms and other locations worldwide. The chips that at least 50 company employees will receive on August 1 will allow them to make purchases at 32M’s own break room market, so it sure seems to be an alpha test of a potential product offering as much as it is an unusual perk.
“This should be a matter of individual choice, but fighting crime should be much easier using chips,” adds sci-fi author Larry Niven, who predicted chip implants in the ’70s. Niven said he supports chip implantation for security reasons, provided it is an opt-in measure.
Ramez Naam, who led the early development of Microsoft software projects and is now a popular speaker and author, said he envisions using chip implantation to help monitor the location of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
They could be used to track the activities of felons who have been released from prison.
Chips are being used today to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.
“Those same chips have found their way into RFID devices to activate the gas pump from a key ring and for anti-theft devices in cars,” said Stu Lipoff, an electrical engineer and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers spokesman.
“There have been people who volunteered to use them for opening the door of an apartment as a personalized ID using your arm. It could be used to track criminals targeted for patrol who might wander into a restricted area.”
At the bottom end is the claim that world governments will phase out cash so the only way you can buy anything is with an implanted chip that can then be used to ID and monitor you.