Five Things You Need to Know Before Getting an Implant

Kate Ashford, Popular Science, October 2004, page 85

(Source: Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Rice Production)

1. You'll hardly feel a thing.
The chip is housed in a glass capsule the size of a grain of rice that is inserted just under your skin by syringe and removed with a tiny sclpel slice. Only massive blunt-force trauma can shatter it.

2. There's no on/off switch.
The chip is activated by a same-brand RFID reader passing within one to two feet, the only info stored on it is an ID number for a password-protected database, to which you control access. So far, the chips lack GPS capability so you can't be tracked.

(Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

(Source: Consumer Action and Bioscrypt)

3. It can save your life . . .
The database the chip is linked to can hold anything from your medical history (so ER doctors could just scan your arm to learn your drug allergies) to access rights for secure buildings (a feature already being used by the Mexican government).

4. Or it can just get you drunk.
The Baha Beach Club in Barcelona lets customers get chipped for $150. Bartenders scan implanted patrons' arms to get their credit card info and to let them into the VIP lounge.

(Source: Online Guide to Barcelona)

(Source: The Lassie Network)

5. Fido is one step ahead of you.
VeriChip, the company that makes the human-implantable chips, has already put them in more than 30 million dogs, cats, livestock and other wild animals. Every month about 6,000 lost pets are reunited with their owners when shelters scan the chips.

"Of course, it's his brain that makes him smart. It's the chip that makes him an object: cataloged, searchable, and locatable in space and time."

Bruce Sterling. "Dumbing Down Smart Objects." Wired, October, 2004. Page 128.