Internet Commerce: Digital Models for Business - The Automatic Identification Trajectory

Most consumers would accept implants for life-saving and life enriching procedures related to increasing life expectancy. However, it is too early to tell whether or not consumers would adopt implants for such everyday applications as electronic payments, citizen identification, driver's licences, social security, ticketing or even retail loyalty schemes. While the adoption of other automatic identification technologies in the past has indicated that consumers are willing to adapt the manner in which they live and conduct business due to technological change, the process takes time. The difference between chip implants and other previous auto-ID devices is that the latter are noninvasive by nature. Bar codes are located on the exterior of goods, magnetic strip cards and smart cards are carried by cardholders and, more recently, biometric systems have required contact with only some external human characteristics such as the fingerprint or palm print for identification. Perhaps what Warwick was demonstrating by using the chip implant for commercial applications was that life could be somewhat simplified if consumers did not have to carry ten different cards in their wallet for a multiplicity of applications. In fact, the number of microchip implant patents has increased rapidly since the late 1990s.

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