IBM RFID Commercial – The Future Market
An implantable chip could allow you to charge purchases or even start your car. It’d be convenient, to be sure. But would it be too creepy?
It’s a simple concept, really: You inject a miniature radio frequency identifier the size of a grain of rice between your thumb and forefinger and, with a wave of your hand, unlock doors, turn on lights, start your car or pay for your drinks at an ultrachic nightspot.
The problem is, the whole concept is a little geeky for most of us, nauseating for some, Orwellian for a few and even apocalyptic for a smattering of religious fundamentalists.
Forget the science of it — and yes, it does work remarkably well. Forget the convenience of it. Forget that similar identifying technologies, from bar codes to mag stripes, overcame similar obstacles and are now ubiquitous.
Radio frequency ID implants face a hurdle the others did not: ickiness.
“There is sort of an icky quality to implanting something,” says Rome Jette, the vice president for smart cards at Versatile Card Technology, a Downers Grove, Ill., card manufacturer that ships 1.5 billion cards worldwide a year.
How RFID devices work
The RFID technology is un-yucky, however. The implanted tag — a passive RFID device consisting of a miniature antenna and chip containing a 16-digit identification number — is scanned by an RFID reader. Once verified, the number is used to unlock a database file, be it a medical record or payment information. Depending upon the application, a reader may verify tags at a distance of 4 inches up to about 30 feet.
The RFID implant has been around for more than 20 years. In its earliest iteration, it provided a convenient way to keep track of dogs, cats and prized racehorses. Few took note or voiced much concern.
Then, in 2002, Applied Digital Solutions (now Digital Angel) of Delray Beach, Fla., deployed to its foreign distributors a beta version of its patented VeriChip technology for human use. Two years later, the VeriChip became the first subcutaneous RFID chip to receive FDA approval as a Class 2 medical device. Full Story
Note: When you go to the original article you’ll see the featured video: Protect yourself against credit, debit card hackers, a crafty way to scare people into the idea of accepting a chip to avoid the possibility of credit card fraud.