First people injected with ID chips, sales drive kicks off

Monday, 10 June 2002, 11:45 AM EST

The 'barcoding' of people has quietly begun rolling out in the US, via Applied Digital Solutions' VeriChip, which has its genesis in Digital Angel. Last month the "historic chipping of the Jacobs family" took place, with a total of eight people having a unique identifier injected under their skin, and last week Digital Angel began a consumer launch of chipping technology with a series of 30 minute commercials on some US cable channels.

It works like this. For a $200 fee and $10 a month for data storage you get your own personal chip, said to be about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen, inserted. A handheld VeriChip scanner can then be used to read the information on the chip, and naturally the positive medical aspects of the system are being majored on at the moment. The Jacobs family suffers from various ailments, so if one of them is taken ill near a medical centre equipped with a VeriChip scanner.... Ah yes, you see the problem, and the neede to achieve critical mass. Nate Isaacson, also in the first wave of chipping, is however a more plausible example at this juncture.

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