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Watching Over You

It was the brainchild of a retired police officer-a coin-sized, implantable global positioning system (GPS) transceiver that could help authorities locate an abducted child. The cop patented his idea in 1997, and now Palm Beach, Fla.-based “e-business provider” Applied Digital Solutions (ADS) has acquired rights to the somewhat Orwellian invention, which the company has dubbed “Digital Angel.” Equipped with both GPS and biological monitoring capabilities, the Digital Angel could, in theory, not only find a lost child but also alert a local hospital when an elderly patient experiences cardiac arrest while at home. ADS intends for the device to derive its power from normal muscle movements, eliminating the need for a battery.

ADS is working on a $130 million deal to acquire Destron Fearing-a South St. Paul, Minn., maker of identification devices for pets, livestock and wildlife-and merge that company into a Digital Angel.net subsidiary. Preliminary testing of a Digital Angel prototype could begin by year’s end.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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