This month sees the beginning of tests that some will herald as straight out of science fiction, and others will attack as privacy invasion and the slippery slope down to a world where everyone has a microchip implanted.
Florida based Applied Digital Solutions will begin testing general packet radio service (GPRS) based human implants that allow for the tracking, monitoring and identity verification of the subject.
The Digital Angel technology is based around a digital transceiver powered by the kinetic energy in the body.
A variety of vital body functions such as heart rate and blood pressure can be monitored by the device, as well as the location of the host, with data being transmitted by satellite.
Applied Digital Solutions also reckons that Digital Angel could be used as a "tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced ebusiness security".
Mercedes Walton, president and chief operating officer of Applied Digital Solutions, said the device also had a softer side: as well as being used to tag criminals, it could be used to keep track of your loved ones.
"The device will bring peace of mind and an increased quality of life for those who use it, and for their families, loved ones, and associates who depend on them critically," said the company.
It will do this, apparently, by offering "the most complete set of capabilities in the remote sensing and tracking universe".
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