Getting under your skin

1 minute read

I just couldn't see these two items on Slashdot without connecting them together.

Item A: NTT researchers developed a device to control human movements remotely. The device exploits the "galvanic vestibular stimulation" phenomenon, whereby an electrical current applied behind the mastoid process causes you to lose balance and veer in the opposite direction.

Known as "Shaking the World," the project is the result of research carried out by NTT researcher Taro Maeda. Maeda and his colleagues constructed a headphone-like apparatus to deliver the electrical current and a small radio control to direct the strength and direction of the signal. Whoever wears such headphones can be steered by remote control.
Conference attendees lined up to try to maintain their balance as an NTT spokesperson gently steered them left and right. Some attempted to counteract the current's effects, while others almost ran into the crowd of onlookers as they stumbled haplessly along.

The aim of the project is to make simulators better. Who knows, maybe those old driving simulators for driver's ed would be spiced up a bit.

Item B: Former HHS Secretary and Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson wants Americans to get RFID implants. The chips are information labels, basically like the ones that you can get for your pets to identify them. Here, they want to have a link to medical information, so accident victims won't get the wrong medications.

Thompson, now a director of Applied Digital Solutions, the company that makes the chips, intends to publish the proposal in the next 50 days, by which time he plans to have had a VeriChip inserted in his arm. Thompson believes the capsules could help save thousands of lives every year.

Or, then there's this:

According to Procter, the chips can also be used for financial transactions. In Europe, the Baja Beach Club chain has introduced chipping in the Netherlands and Spain.
The VeriChip is inserted at the club and means club-goers will no longer have to wait in line to pay to get in and will be able to use the chip to pay their bar bill.

Some people are worried that people will be pressured to get these in these days of terrorism for greater security. Myself, I'm worried that some Japanese scientist will figure out a way to make me jerk around like a deranged puppet.