Applied Digital Solutions' deeply weird Digital Angel, a wireless microchip device which can be planted under the skin and used for all sorts of... er... interesting applications, is to be unveiled in Florida at the end of this month. The demo, according to ADS, will combine GPS, wireless and body function monitoring.
It's clearly something from one of the wilder dreams of our very own Captain Cyborg, Professor Kevin Warwick of Reading University. Digital Angel is essentially a microchip device designed to be worn close to the body. It could be implanted, but initially ADS sees it as being wearable, with human implantation being at least subject to US Food and Drug Administration approval.
Cattle would appear not to be so lucky. ADS' partner at the unveiling will be the spookily-named Destron Fearing Corporation, "a leader in the world evolution of radio frequency animal identification." In the demo ADS intends to measure and transmit bio-sensor information via a "tiny antenna," along with GPS location information, and make this available on the Web.
The company has a most excellent list of potential applications for Digital Angel. It could be used be used for patient or livestock monitoring, security, warfare, law enforcement, identification or firearms safety. It could be used to keep an eye on potential kidnap victims, or family pets, or to monitor valuables.
Note that although some of these applications would work fine with just a wearable device, others really are likely to need you to stick it somewhere discreet, so the Captain Cyborg route could well be necessary. Kidnap targets, pets, soldiers being monitored to see where they are and if they're dead yet all sound like implant candidates to us.
Security is maybe borderline, but it does sound like a way to avoid ever losing your keys, your credit cards or your social security details. But we still haven't found out where you stick the antenna. ®