Tuesday, May 31, 2005

RFID chips injected into Barcelona ravers

IT'S BEEN a little while since we travelled on airline Cathode Ray Pacific - they're always willing to risk it for a frisket on the technology front.

On the short haul from Hong Kong to Old Taipei we learned a few things quite quickly. The first is that the airline is running a service called Nevigator, yeah that's how it's spelled. Plug your PC into a USB port or Ethernet port and Cathay will charge you handsomely to read your spam.

But of more interest to us was in flight magazine Discovery, which starting on page 64 has a feature about how you can buy drinks in Baja Beach Club in Barcelona if you let them chip you up by injecting you with a Verichip.

The Verichip, made by Applied Digital Solutions is injected by a quack under local anaesthetic and is made of glass. The chip contains RFID, your name and the amount of dosh you have in your Baja account, said Discovery.

When you go to buy a drink, a very attractive young lady apparently passes a scanner over your body and the picture with the feature shows this is relatively painless.

The second Tuesday of the month is implant night at the Baja and apparently British firm Surge IT systems has bought 9000 of the chips and 110 scanners for security, education and identification. Where, we do not know, yet. Meanwhile Discovery also reports that 1,000 people in Mexico wear it for medical reasons while Smith & Wesson have designed a system which means a specific gun will only work with a specifically chipped person. Holy Baja!

Incidentally, at gate 64 and other locations in Hong Kong airport, Cathode Ray Pacifica offers free wi-fi. And why not, indeed? Let this be a lesson to other airlines...

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