First, let me clarify that it is not an RFID chip that is implanted, but rather a transponder. The chip is the brains of an RFID device, but it alone does nothing. It must be connected to a radio antenna in order to function.
An RFID transponder—a chip with antennas attached—is placed in a small glass capsule a little larger than a grain of rice, and is inserted into a special hypodermic needle, enabling it to be injected under a person’s skin. The transponder can then be read from within a foot or so.
VeriChip was the leading provider of implantable RFID transponders (see Insurer Running VeriChip Trial, VeriChip Launches IPO, Alzheimer’s Care Center to Carry Out VeriChip Pilot, VeriChip’s VeriTrace Platform Sees Sales Boost and VeriChip Markets Its Implantable RFID Tags and Services Direct to Consumers). However, the company merged with Steel Vault Corp., and a new entity was formed in November 2009, known as PositiveID Corp.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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