We are a step closer to being a cyborg as three square market, a business firm in Wisconsin, implanted microchips in their employees. The company said that the small rice-sized microchips are embedded in the hands of their employees to avoid the inconvenience of having to log in to computers and also to help the technology’s development.

The firm also emphasized that the microchip is not a way of tracking their employees and does not have GPS. Their employees can now have their hands read by a machine; much like a smartphone would do to pay for merchandise.

The Three Square Market is a business entity that specializes in making cafeteria kiosks and is competing with vending machines.

How was the microchip embedded in the employees?

The installation of the microchips was done inside the company’s cafeteria and was performed by a tattoo artist.

The whole installation only took a minute for every employee. The hand is first cleaned, and then a syringe is injected to a spot where the chip is inserted. Afterward, a band-aid is placed over the spot.

Patrick McMullan, president of Three Square Market, claimed that “The pinch hurt more than the injection.” He also added, “It stung for about an hour and a half afterward, but now it’s getting back to normal,” according to a report from USA Today.

Is the microchip safe to be embedded in people?

The microchip was developed by a Swedish company called Biohax International and the company said that they already have 3,000 people using the technology in Europe.

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The company started installing chips on humans three years ago in Sweden and surprisingly longer in pets. Apparently, the chip was being used since the early 2000’s as a tracking device for animals.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation said that implanting chips on animals is safe as long as it’s installed properly. Otherwise, it can cause weakness in all four limbs among dogs and cats.

Jowan Osterlund, the founder of Biohax, claims that embedding microchips in humans are much safer than getting a piercing. However, the Swedish government does not have any regulations at this time concerning the technology.

In 2014, the Food and Drugs Administration said that there were no signs of any dangers caused by a microchip being implanted in humans. However, the agency is studying the possible effects of the microchip on medical devices such as defibrillators and pacemakers.

The technology was approved by the FDA in 2004 for medical purposes.