- PALM BEACH, FL
- Imagine having a microchip inside your body that would store your identity
and important medical information, and might even tell people where you
are. Is it a sign of the end times or simply a sign of progress?
Microchip technology is no longer just for Palm Pilots and cell phones,
now people can store important information about themselves right beneath
their skin. A chip about the size of a Tic Tac can carry up to six lines
of text, readable with a scanner.
Science fiction has become reality. A Florida company plans to bring their
new VeriChip to the market this year. It's a product that excites a lot
of people, but worries many others.
"The VeriChip is an advanced, digital identification technology,"
explained Doctor Keith Bolton, the vice president and chief technology
officer at Applied Digital Systems in Palm Beach, Florida. It will be the
first company in the world to offer the microchip for insertion into humans.
"The first component is a very small microchip. The other component
is a proprietary, patented, handheld scanner, that reads the information
from the chip," Bolton said.
The initial use of the VeriChip will be to store personal identification
or medical information, such as details about any implanted medical devices
like pacemakers or artificial limbs, or any allergies to medication. In
an emergency, it could save a life. Dr. Richard Seelig, medical advisor
at Applied Digital, implanted a chip in his arm and his hip area a few
"Yes, it's in my right forearm and there is no bump or anything that
you can really see, and if you just gently pass your finger over it it's
right in this area right here," Seelig demonstrated. "The technique
just involves a little bit of local anesthetic into the skin, and just
a slight amount of pressure... it takes about seven seconds to do, and
that was that " wear a band-aid, that was the end of it."
The Jacobs family in Coral Springs, Florida would like to be the first
family to receive the VeriChip. "I was watching the news with Derrick
and there was a segment on the VeriChip, and he was so intrigued with the
VeriChip. After it was over he stood up and said, I want to be the first
kid to have that chip implanted in me,," said Leslie Jacobs.
"Everybody uses computers in their everyday life, and as people get
more and more close to computers, people can't even live without computers
for one day," Derrick said. "So I think it,s just another step
closer in the evolution of man and technology."
But for Derrick's dad, Jeff, who suffers from a number of medical challenges,
the VeriChip could be a lifesaver. "They would know who to contact,
they would know what medications I'm on, and it,s quite a few. They would
know what I'm allergic to, what kind of operations I've had and where there
might be problems. I can't wait to get it because it will make me feel
so much more secure," Jeff said.
Future versions of embedded microchips could carry a person's full identification
in place of I.D. cards that can be lost or stolen. That could put a dent
in the growing problem of identity theft, and make the world a little safer.
"We would like to know for sure as best we can that the people in
that cockpit of that airplane belong there and they are the right people,
that people who work at nuclear power plants are the right people and they
should be there," Seelig said.
Still more advanced versions of the microchip someday might be able to
track a person,s location through a global positioning system [GPS].
Right now Applied Digital Solutions sells a separate system for tracking
and monitoring called Digital Angel, which consists of a device similar
to a wrist-watch and a module worn on the belt. It is marketed to the families
of Alzheimer's patients because, as Bolton demonstrates, it can locate
loved ones anywhere in the world, from any P.C. in the world.
"Pete is outside and he has the Digital Angel monitor on, and we're
going to monitor his position from this Internet access P.C.," Bolton
illustrated. "What we're showing here is he is on the corner of Coconut
Grove and Royal Palm Way." And that is exactly where Pete was.
A GPS tracking device is currently too large to fit into the tiny VeriChip,
but miniaturization is probably only a matter of time. Some believe a tracking
device inside the body could deter kidnapping. "We've had six Latin
American countries in here in just the last two weeks, and they are begging
us to create an embedded integrated technology," Bolton said.
But the thought of being tracked and carrying vital information in the
body makes a lot of people,s skin crawl. And it reminds some of a frightening
prophecy in the Bible about the mark of the Beast.
Revelation 13 says the Beast will force everyone "to receive a mark
on his right hand or forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless
he had the mark, which is the name of the Beast or the number of his name...
His number is 666."
Applied Digital has been attacked by some Christians for making what some
fear is a prototype mark of the Beast. So does this chip, as it is now,
have any relationship to the prophecy in the book of Revelation? CBN News
asked Regent University professor Doctor Joseph Kickasola.
"My judgement is, no they do not," Kickasola said. "I think
it's both illogical and unfair to make that assertion, and let me tell
you why. I think the Bible clearly says the mark of the Beast is for buying
and selling and that it is also coerced, it's government enforced. On the
face of it, these microchips are for good purposes, like for medical records,
like for lost children. They're not for buying or selling, as is described
in the book of Revelation."
And Bolton stresses the VeriChip is voluntary. "We live in a free
society," he said. "You can either elect to smoke [or not]. You
can elect to have the VeriChip. So it's a freedom of choice technology."
But what about a future in which everyone must take an embedded chip if
they want to drive or work in secure environments? Kickasola stresses that
any government coercion would collide with the First Amendment.
"Government cannot coerce us to speak," he said. "And a
microchip speaks a lot, it has a lot of information in it. The one threshold
in the Bible we must not pass is the threshold of coercion, whereby we
have a state or federally enforced form of identification in our body."
The tiny VeriChip would seem to contain more than electronics: hope, fear,
opportunity, some politics and perhaps a dash of theology. But it is another
piece of technology that will likely become a part of everyday life.
The VeriChip sells for $199 and will be marketed in South America and Europe
while awaiting FDA approval for sale in the United States.
- '666' In The Universal Product Code - Forerunner
Of 'The Mark'?