Luddites still objecting to having an 11mm chip implanted in an arm will no doubt be relieved to hear that VeriChip has developed an even-smaller implantable RFID tag, measuring a diminutive 8mm by 1mm.
Not that this new chip is designed for tagging people as such. It's been developed for use with "vascular access catheters" being deployed by MedComp. The contract is worth $3m to VeriChip, though the company can see other benefits to getting its tags in to people.
Vascular access catheters are tubes which are stuck into people requiring repeated intervention - so that blood sampling, drug delivery, and so forth can take place without sticking needles into the patent every five minutes. Once approved for human use, Medcomp will start embedding VerChip's new tag into its catheters, so the capabilities can easily be checked and (presumably) patients can easily be scanned for any forgotten hardware.
But people-tagging is still firmly on the agenda, with VeriChip hopeful that once people have had one tag inside them, they'll happily opt for another: "We also expect to offer the VeriMed Health Link patient identification service at a reduced rate to all patients who receive a Medcomp vascular port" said VeriChip chairman Scott R. Silverman, when the contract was announced. ®