IN THE ARM FOR CARLESS
Creagh Urban Affairs Reporter
October 27, 2007
FRANKLIN is sick of losing his car keys. The solution? Implant a car-unlocking microchip under his skin.
"If they get the technology going, I'm there,"
the landscape architect said yesterday.
The car sharing service Go Get has ordered a microchip
to implant into Mr Franklin, making him a lifetime member of the group. Mr Franklin says his enthusiasm to become Australia's
first microchipped human is fuelled by a commitment to a life without owning a car.
Under their old system, Go Get members would book
a car online, pick up a key from a box attached to a telegraph pole and walk to where the nearest Go Get car was parked.
After Mr Franklin is microchipped, he will simply
swipe a finger or an arm over the car to unlock it and drive off.
"Personally, the idea of getting a chip in my
arm makes me squeamish; I squirm when I see piercings," said Go Get's founder, Bruce Jeffreys. "But when we started talking
about it, surprisingly there are a lot of members that want to take it up."
Mr Jeffreys has contacted a US company, VeriChip, which manufactures implantable radio
frequency identification data chips, similar those embedded in many workplace entry swipe cards.
"We're trialling with Patrick and then we want
to make it available to all Go Get members. The whole idea is about making cars a lot more convenient and in doing that discouraging
car ownership, which is clogging up our cities," Mr Jeffreys said.
Microchips Australia, which manufactures chips for animals, says it's safe to embed chips
in humans but wonders if it's ethically sound.
"To me, it's crossing the privacy boundaries,"
said Dr Rick Walduck, the company's general manager.