Gamers familiar with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots are probably also familiar with the term SOP or Sons Of The Patriots aka The System. In the game’s storyline SOP was an advanced form of battlefield control implemented by these sentient proxy AI beings deemed The Patriots. State military and PMC’s used this system to regulate and enhance the capabilities of soldiers on the front lines in real time thru the use of nanomachines floating around their own circulatory system.
SOP would be used to keep track of bodily function stats, pain tolerances, and emotions. Gun shot wounds and other injuries would be kept under control. Mental focus would be enhanced and any immediate fear would be suppressed to regulate stress on the battlefield. One of SOP’s other main assets was the ability to authenticate weapons to specific soldiers. As Old Snake said:
“War has changed. It’s no longer about nations, ideologies, or ethnicity. It’s an endless series of proxy battles fought by mercenaries and machines. War – and its consumption of life – has become a well-oiled machine. War has changed. ID-tagged soldiers carry ID-tagged weapons, use ID-tagged gear. Nanomachines inside their bodies enhance and regulate their abilities. Genetic control. Information control. Emotion control. Battlefield control. Everything is monitored and kept under control. War has changed. The age of deterrence has become the age of control… All in the name of averting catastrophe from weapons of mass destruction. And he who controls the battlefield… controls history. War has changed. When the battlefield is under total control… War becomes routine.”
All the details I’ve just mentioned thus far are key elements to the MGS4:GOTP story with its melodrama and sci fi intricacies, but what if it all became real one day? Well it looks like that day is coming sooner that we think.
Enter, the BodyCom. This technology, which is being developed by Microchip Technology uses our own bodies as a means to secure an authentication process. Announced last year, BodyCom is a short-range communication setup that uses the body as a wire between two points (or two chips). One chip can be in your jacket pocket and the other in a device requiring authentication from the first chip to be activated. As long as your body is between these chips as a link the authentication process is complete.
The Arizona based company purports that such tech could be used for practical things like opening your car door or a means to enter your own home. Since the system requires two points to gain access, only the first chip holder (you) has that ability to operate the vehicle or turn the door knob to get inside the house.
The company is also looking to expand and implement their tech in other markets such as firearms. They believe that this technology married with guns would be beneficial in the vein of safety. In other words, only those who have authorization to their weapons may use/fire them and no one else. This can mean the difference between life or death for owners who happen to have been disarmed by an assailant. The gun won’t fire in the wrong hands. Accidental gun deaths may also experience a decrease. As far as military usage goes, fighting enemy soldiers could be less daunting if faced with close quarters combat. If you lose your gun or your enemy disarms you he or she would not be able to turn your weapon against you. Those few extra seconds of confusion may just be enough to escape the situation or react fast enough to regain control and subdue the enemy.
Ok so this technology may not have SOP exactly as written on it but it comes pretty close in my book. Maybe it won’t regulate body functions, stop you from shitting in your pants, or may not even help keep your wits sharp but it’s a step in the right direction. There are other methods of authentication though, just as invasive as SOP such as the RFID chip, which is surgically implanted under the skin and can store a person’s information and keep track of them at all times (that’s not creepy at all). Similar practical uses include opening doors or starting a car with literally the wave of the hand.
Call me old fashioned but I’d just stick to using my house or car keys. Saves on battery juice and they’re about $2.00 at your local locksmith. And the best part, nobody cuts you open and sticks random objects inside your body.