ADS launch a Digital Angel

Applied Digital Solutions are set to demonstrate the Digital Angel, a new tracking technology designed for use in a host of applications including E-Business security, emergency location and medical monitoring and commodities supply chain management.

Digital Angel, which ADS hopes will become an interface between the human and electronic networks, will be demonstrated in New York on October 30, 2000.

The new chip contains biosensors that can, claims ADS, be worn close to the body in order to measure and store the biological parameters of the body.

The chip also contains an antenna to receive signals from GPS satellites and communicate with ground stations.

The chip will receive commands from the stations and will send biological information and location data to the ground station. This could take the form of a distress signal sent to a monitoring facility when the unit detects a medical emergency such as an asthma or heart attack.

ADS says that the chip will be equipped with a micro battery that will be self-rechargeable, taking energy from the body or from its surroundings, and that the components will be combined into a unit the size of a penny.

Digital Angel will not, say ADS, intrude on personal privacy because the device can only be activated by the wearer or by commands from the ground station in order to save battery energy and to avoid interference with other devices.

Such technology doesn’t, however, come without its critics.

“Telephone records are routinely subpoenaed. They can be very intrusive, but far more intrusive is a complete log of your physical movement,’ said Jason Catlett, chief executive of Junkbusters, a non-profit privacy monitoring group in America.

“You have to ask, `Who gets how much information?”’ he added.

While a number of other tracking and monitoring technologies have been patented and marketed in the past, ADS believe they are all unsuitable for the widespread tracking, recovery and identification of people due to a variety of limitations, including impractical size, maintenance requirements, insufficient or inconvenient power-supply and activation difficulties.

ADS is currently seeking joint venture partners to develop and market the technology, which is estimated to have a potential global market in excess of $100 billion.

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