A group of eight people, including all members of one Florida family, had an implant chip, roughly the size of a grain of rice, injected under their skin on Friday, May 10. Manufactured by Applied Digital Solutions (ADS), the chips store a special identification number that enables the retrieval of personal and medical information. In the event of a medical emergency, a special handheld scanner activates the dormant digital implant, which provides identification data with which medical personnel can query ADS's database, the location of the patient's medical records. Alzheimer's patients seem to be the most promising market for this technology, even though other people, like the Florida family, hope to benefit from it as well. Another product that ADS offers is called Digital Angel, a wearable global positioning system (GPS) device that, among other things, can track in real time the wearer's physical movements. In the future, ADS is planning to release a product that will utilize both of these technologies: an implanted GPS-enabled chip. Unlike VeriChip, though, the GPS-enabled implant would require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, meaning the US market won't see its introduction until after FDA testing. Many organizations, ranging from privacy advocates to religious groups, have already denounced VeriChip and its eventually successors, associated them with "Big Brother" and the biblical "Mark of the Beast."
To read about the eight people that received their implants, look at the first and second sites, articles from the Los Angeles Times and Miami Herald respectively. For a non-US perspective, view the news story posted by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). The fourth site, an extensive analysis of the subject from ABC News, should give readers a broader understanding of implanted chips and their potential uses. Two sites from ADS are next -- VeriChip's product pages and the press release that details a FDA's decision regarding VeriChip in April, 2002. Finally, the last two sites give more information on Digital Angel and a sample of GPS technology already in use.