FROM Sweden this week comes a tantalising, and frankly unsettling, glimpse of humanity's potentially cyborg future.

Employees at a newly opened office block will have the opportunity to have a tiny microchip implanted under the skin on their hand, to enable them to open doors and even use a photocopier, without having to turn a handle, push a button, or whip out a smart card.

The chip is about the size of a grain of rice, is administered by injection, and to my possibly old fashioned world view, instantly tips us over into the world of the robo-worker.

I say possibly, because this is to a great extent a generational thing, and this sort of gadgetry might be perfect acceptable to our children and our children's children.

But to me, this is the thin end of the technologically-driven, surveillance wedge, that will no doubt be marketed as the next great advance for our increasingly convenience-obsessed world.

Of course, these days we have voice recognition, iris recognition, and thumb- and fingerprint-based security systems to control access to buildings and personal items such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

We also have wearable technology such as fitness bands that enable us to track the amount of physical exertion we put ourselves through, and record the outcome.

The big difference though, is that these things make use of our individual physical characteristics in an external way - they do not turn the body into a repository for technology that could potentially be endlessly updated to provide Those Who Rule with instant access to our most intimate information, or be adapted to render the most basic of actions unnecessary.

Me? Well, call me old-fashioned (again) but I don't want to have a radio-frequency identification chip (or an RFID, for those fond of nonsensical acronyms) injected under my skin, to enable me to carry out the simplest of actions, such as opening a door.

After all, being able to do something just because you can, might easily be the first step on the road to a damaging decadence.

The problem is that by stealth, these things become necessary because the basic devices themselves, in this example, doors, start to be developed to respond to this sort of technology.

In this Swedish example, those behind the experiment are stressing that no-one will be required to have a chip injected, but as with most things, there generally comes a tipping point when to those in charge it is no longer desirable (they will describe it as 'viable' or 'feasible', and usually money is at the back of it) to enable exceptions.

A great driver for the development and dissemination of this sort of technology of course, is a desire to tighten security.

And that is fair enough, up to a point. The problem is, at some point the boundaries of freedom, collective and individual, begin to be nudged at by those in power, who purport to have our best (collective and individual) interests at heart, but actually just want to keep greater tabs on us.

It is not such a great leap of the imagination to foresee a future chipped humankind whose every individual item of information is contained in an RFID for convenience of scanning by all manner of employees - government, retail, financial, health - who just want to, you know, check how we're doing.

The Swedish experiment has been organised by a bio-hacking group which claims to be attempting to prepare people, so we can be better equipped to understand and question the rationale at the point in the future where Those Who Rule decide that we should all be chipped.

Which sounds to me like a good intentioned but naive method of numbing us to accept the inevitable.

Thanks, but no thanks. I prefer to keep my distance from this sort of stuff, rather than getting up close and too cosy with the prospect of becoming a walking swipe card.

There is a word doing the rounds that seeks to catch the meaning of this corralling of the human into the technological - augmentation.

It is the sort of dry, dull, non-descriptive word that hides a Pandora's Box of distasteful possibilities and consequence...

...It is 2060. A 96-year-old man returns home from his daily constitutional to discover a sharp-suited minor local government official standing on his doorstep.

The latter's intention is to seek an explanation for why the man has consistently failed to put out for weekly collection the recently-introduced 43rd separate waste disposal box issued by the council - for plastic groundnut oil containers, and ONLY for plastic groundnut oil containers (on pain of being scanned and digitally fined).

The young man is staring in fascination at an object at approximately waist height, a couple of feet in front of him. The old man (me) produces a key, unlocks his door, enters and turns, looks his quizzical visitor in the eyes and says:

"It's a doorhandle, you fool.Trying scanning that, and then just get lost."