MSN Money (Link) - creditcards.com - Jay MacDonald (September 11, 2009)
An implantable chip could allow you to charge purchases or even start your car. It'd be convenient, to be sure. But would it be too creepy?
It's a simple concept, really: You inject a miniature radio frequency identifier the size of a grain of rice between your thumb and forefinger and, with a wave of your hand, unlock doors, turn on lights, start your car or pay for your drinks at an ultrachic nightspot.
The problem is, the whole concept is a little geeky for most of us, nauseating for some, Orwellian for a few and even apocalyptic for a smattering of religious fundamentalists.
Forget the science of it -- and yes, it does work remarkably well. Forget the convenience of it. Forget that similar identifying technologies, from bar codes to mag stripes, overcame similar obstacles and are now ubiquitous.
Radio frequency ID implants face a hurdle the others did not: ickiness.
"There is sort of an icky quality to implanting something," says Rome Jette, the vice president for smart cards at Versatile Card Technology, a Downers Grove, Ill., card manufacturer that ships 1.5 billion cards worldwide a year.