Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Buy your martini with an RFID implant

Bar Soba, a nightclub in Glasgow (Scotland), is about to offer its regulars the option of having a microchip implanted in their arm that will obviate the need to carry their wallet or queue for entry. It's the same chip worn by VIP members at two nightclubs in Barcelona and Rotterdam and by Mexico's Attorney General.

The size of a grain of rice, VeriChip is encased inside a glass and silicone cylinder and implanted between the layer of fat and skin on the upper arm.

The chip, which has a life span of about 20 years sends out a low-range radio frequency when scanned, supplying the scanner with its unique ID number. How that number is used depends on the database the scanner is hooked up to. In the case of Soba, it will be the balance on a person's bar account.

Steve van Soest, one of more than 100 people who have been "chipped" at Baja Beach Club in Barcelona, believes that: "It would be great if this catches on and you could put all your personal details and medical records on it. If I was involved in an accident, doctors could simply scan me and find out my blood group and any allergies."

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