On May 10, the Jacobs family of Boca Raton, Florida, became America’s first digital guinea pigs: Each got a rice-size ID called a VeriChip implanted in their arm. Why? We recently caught up with the family to find out.

Popular Science How’d you become interested in the VeriChip?

Derek Jacobs I’ve been in the emergency room with my dad when he’s in too much pain to answer questions. The chip stores his entire medical history.

PS What was the procedure like?

Leslie Jacobs It’s just like getting a shot. It takes seconds.

PS What does it feel like?

Jeffrey Jacobs It feels like a BB under the surface of your skin.

PS Any side effects?

JJ None. It’s made of biocompatible materials. Scar tissue forms around it.

PS Where can you get scanned?

LJ Nowhere yet, although 14 or 15 local hospitals are considering it. It’s like the first fax machine-you have one, but no one else does, so you can’t use it.

PS What do you think of plans to incorporate GPS?

JJ Daniel Pearl would have certainly benefited, as would abducted children.

PS Any Big Brother worries?

DJ No. You decide to get the chip implanted and what details go on it.

JJ And it can’t be stolen or lost. It’s a lot more secure than a credit card.