Professor Kevin Warwick is a media tart, and the kiddie chip that won worldwide publicity last week probably does not exist. These nuggets have been unearthed by Stephen Naysmith, Science Correspondent of the Scottish Sunday Herald, whose report we warmly recommend to Warwick watchers everywhere.
Attempting to secure an interview with Warwick, Naysmith was referred by Reading University to Reading agency INS, which quoted him the rate of £75 for a ten minute interview. INS happily told him: "He's working with us. Everyone involved is signed up with us. A lot of people have been happy to pay." Given that his paper comes from the home of fiscal responsibility and prudence we're pleased that Naysmith declined to cough up, but secured a brief interview anyway.
Although Warwick claims he intends to plant a tracker chip in 11 year old Danielle Duval before the end of the year, he has not asked for ethical approval from Reading University. This would be required prior to any operation. He also told Naysmith that there were "several options" for the technology used by the device, while refusing to confirm or deny that a prototype existed. But if we're still at the options stage, and these options include GPS (according to the Herald interview, they do), then that seems a pretty strong signal that no operational device exists.
Further wackiness about the workings of the system was also added in a piece in the Sunday Times earlier this week, which says it'll need recharging every two weeks and claims, "Hand-held monitors could be used in areas not covered by mobile phones." Coo... how does that work?
Warwick refused to discuss technical details with Naysmith, and justified his refusal to say anything about a prototype by saying, "There are commercial interests involved." Now, we at The Register had been hoping to redeclare our moratorium on Captain Cyborg coverage shortly, and not resume hostilities until the next major atrocity. But we're intrigued by these "commercial interests" - any of them care to put their hand up? ®