I’ve Got You Under My Skin
During Rovers UEFA Cup trip to Feyenoord, it wasn’t just football our officials went to watch. A nightclub in Rotterdam has its own unique membership scheme. Entry to the club is by a scanner picking up your details from a silicon chip embedded in your arm. Should Rovers set up their own similar system, it will be known as the ‘Shoulder Charge’.
So forgetting your season ticket on match days will soon become a thing of the past. Rovers are about to offer season ticket holders the option of having a similar kind of microchip implanted in their arm, taking away the need to carry our little card in its blue plastic pouch.
Although it does sound very Orwellian, it is certainly practical. The ‘Shoulder Charge’ is the size of a grain of rice, does not set off airport scanners and contains no power supply. It is encased inside a tiny glass and silicon cylinder and implanted by injection. It is similar to what they do with dogs, cats and racehorses. But in humans is injected between the layer of fat and skin on the upper arm where it meets the shoulder. You can also request other parts of the body to have it implanted. But short people are asked to consider their choice very carefully. This is because the existing scanners at the turnstiles will remain in place as no modification is required.
The silicon chip, which has a life span of about 20 years, lies dormant until a scanner is passed over it, sending out a low-range radio frequency. It responds to the signal and supplies the scanner with its unique ID number, photograph and membership details. The chip is similar to more than 25 million already embedded in animals across the world acting as ‘pet passports’. It can also be used for tracing missing persons. Before being used in humans, it has undergone stringent tests and doctors say it is extremely safe. But, in the case of Rovers fans, we become the pets – Guinea Pigs!
Another aspect is what happens when season ticket holders don’t renew their subscription. The chip automatically deactivates. This releases a mild irritant to the skin, causing an itching feeling. So if you don’t fancy a trip to the doctor, or the vet, make sure you renew your season ticket.
So in future Rovers fans will be proud to say we have a chip on our shoulder.