Oh no!! I think if this catches on, and I really hope it doesn’t, corporate Glastonbury and the like, will find it very useful. It will keep out the riff-raff eh?
Saturday May 22, 2004
You stroll past the queue outside and walk straight into the club slowing down to flash your arm past an electronic scanner. At the bar you claim your vodka tonic by flexing your triceps at the bar staff and even the door to the chillout room opens automatically when you approach.
It may not be for the squeamish but clubbers who want to dodge queues and get VIP treatment every night at a Spanish nightclub can have a microchip implanted in their left arm.
The chip, a radio frequency identification device the size of a grain of rice, gives members instant access to the VIP lounge at the Baja Beach Club, a popular haunt for British revellers. Injected into the upper left arm, it also allows them to reserve tables or pay for drinks by flexing their triceps in front of an electronic reader. The scheme is the brainchild of Conrad Chase, an American entrepreneur who owns the 3,000-capacity club in Barcelona.
The glass chip is injected by a licensed nurse at the club in a simple operation that costs £83. The chipped clubber is then given a 100 credit to spend at the bar.
Mr Chase said the operation reflected the club’s “philosophy of originality”.
“The club will know who you are and what your credit balance is,” he said.
He said the chip was anonymous and the information on it could not be accessed without a unique ID number.
But civil liberties groups sounded a warning. “Why would anyone want to have a minor surgical operation to get a drink more quickly?” said Barry Hugill of Liberty.
“If you are happy to be surgically implanted you must be aware of the dangers – you may be able to get served more quickly but it could also mean someone could stalk or monitor you.”
Mr Chase said only a handful of clubbers had so far decided to have the implant, and the club does not allow the operation to be performed in the early hours – which is the only time most pluck up the courage to have done.