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Human chip implants not going skin deep

Body tracking processors launch on Monday

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Applied Digital Solutions, the US outfit behind a chip which can be stuck inside a human body, will unveil its device in the Big Apple next week.

The Digital Angel demonstration will show "the first-ever working prototype that combines bio-sensors and Web-enabled wireless telecommunications linked to Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology", according to the company blurb on the invite.

The chip itself is a wafer-thin matchbox size device and is powered from heat generation. It is due for release in eight months and will cost between $100 and $300.

Speaking at Internet World today, Keith Bolton, CTO at the Florida-based company, moved to allay fears that the technology would encourage a Big Brother environment.

Bolton said the chip would not, after all, be placed under the skin. Although this was part of the original patent, ADS abandoned the idea after it found it would probably take years to get approval for the idea from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

Instead it will be worn next to the skin, via a patch or underneath a watch, for which the company claims there are a clutch of applications. Lost pets could be found, human bodily functions such as blood sugar or heartbeat tracked online, or the health of livestock such as cattle monitored. Other such revelations, such as how it could be used to improve physical authenticity and security over the Net, are promised for Monday's event. ®

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