Digital Angel implant technology designed to thwart the evil spirits

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The Independent Online

A Nasdaq-listed company which claims its microchip can help find children who have been kidnapped has been attacked as being an agent of evil.

A prominent US religious group has said the new technology is a prophecy of the coming of the devil, calling it the "mark of the beast".

Known as a Digital Angel, the microchip works in conjunction with GPS – military satellites positioned around the globe – and testing begins next month in Palm Beach, Florida.

If successful its maker Applied Digital Solutions will start implanting them inside humans between the muscle and the skin on the forearm next year.

Early shipments start in October for a $300 watch with the chip inside and comes with a thing like a beeper which clips onto your belt and holds the technology linked to the GPS.

The angel pinpoints your whereabouts so that you could even be found in a cave in South America, bio-probes on the back of the watch also relay medical information over the internet so specialists can monitor your physical and mental health.

"That information is collected and bundled with location coordinates provided by GPS and sent by wireless to a hosting centre on the internet which allows access by authorised users," said Bob Jackson, a spokesman for ADS.

"In kidnappings for ransom the child is sometimes not returned alive. With Digital Angel we can tell if the child is still alive while the parents are organising the ransom," said Jackson.

"In certain requests people said they wanted this implanted and others said it's not a good idea," he added

As the company registers orders for the watches in October they played-down the human implant development after the American Family Association, a right wing religious group, said the invention is the biblical "mark of the beast". A quote taken from the Book Of Revelation where no man can buy or sell without the mark on their forehead or arm.

The inventor of the chip Peter Zhou, chief scientist for development of the implant said: "There are different interpretations of the Bible. Anything to improve the quality of life is from God."

US soldiers were also thought of as a potential client in what analysts see as a $70bn market.

The devil connection has done no good for ADS' share price. Its shares, traded on Nasdaq, have fallen from a high of $5 to just 50c.

Mr Jackson attributed this to the general market dislike of tech stocks rather than a message from God.