Science & Technology

Verichip, the Mark of the Beast


"Get chipped."

That's the razzle-dazzle slogan of the VeriChip, the world's first human ID implant—or at least, the first one we're allowed to know about.

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week it wouldn't be regulating the chip, Applied Digital Solutions, a Palm Beach-based technology company that also produces the Thermo Life energy source and Digital Angel safety, condition and location systems, has unveiled a slick marketing campaign. The promotional blitz is designed to siren in the early adopters and convince the rest of us the that the rice-size implant is the coolest thing since the Hula-Hoop.

Finally, my generation is getting the opportunity to be "on the bus." Applied Digital is sending out the "Chipmobile," a large blue RV outfitted as a "mobile chipping station." When it arrives in my local mall parking lot, I hope it has one of those plexiglass money booths where lucky winners get to grab at $1 bills flying through the air. (Note to company: Think key chains. Ones that look like blown-up versions of the VeriChip itself. You know, for kids.)

Is it possible that the company is paying the Christians on this site and others to call the chip the Mark of the Beast? There's nothing like the rejection of the end-times crowd to capture the devotion of the young and modern. Even Antichrist himself, though, might have a hard time budging Applied Digital's 43-cent-per-share stock price.

But here's a more important question: How many years will it take before doctors, fresh from reading some new NIH or FDA study on how the Verichip saves lives, are counseling patients that if they love their newborns, they'll implant them?