I'll spare you all the Orwellian references about "Big Brother', but this story has the potential to be kind of scary. There's a vending machine company in Wisconsin called Three Square Marketing and they are claiming to be the first company in the nation to microchip its employees.

At first blush, the story seems kind of totalitarian, but, as it turns out, the microchipping is not so that the company can track its' employees and know what they are up to every minute. In fact, the chip is being implanted for the convenience of the workers in the plant.

As it turns out, the chip is not connected to any kind of GPS or other tracking device. The chip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, will be used by employees to gain entrance to the building and use the vending machines to charge snacks and drinks to their own accounts. The chips will even allow workers to log on to their personal computers without using a password.

A spokesperson for Three Square Marketing says that more than 50 employees have signed up for the voluntary chipping and, so far, the employees are very happy with the results. The chip, implanted between the thumb and forefinger, is about the size of a grain of rice and cost in the neighborhood of $300. Three Square says it will foot the bill for all employees who would like to get chipped.