VeriChip, the somewhat infamous subsidiary of Applied Digital, has apparently filed to go public. As the article notes, the company may be leading the way for other RFID-related companies to go public. While the RFID space does have a ton of potential, we've learned to be extremely skeptical of any claims from VeriChip, after the company's history of misstatements and questionable behavior. The company is famous for overhyping its solution for sticking an RFID in your arm for medical purposes -- which serves little purpose since so few hospitals can actually read the data on the chip. Also, at last report, they had a grand total of around 60 customers -- which seems rather small. However, much more importantly is that the company lied about FDA approval of the device blatantly. They put out a press release saying they had approval when all the FDA did was send them a note asking for more info to decide if it needed to be regulated for non-medical uses. When the FDA did say VeriChip could go forward as long as they didn't use it for medical reasons, the company blatantly ignored that and marketed it for medical uses. While the FDA did eventually approve the devices, you have to be pretty skeptical about anything the company claims. This is also the company that put former Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson on its board, making him promise to have the device implanted -- something he hasn't done yet. And, this isn't just about the devices, but in their financial dealings as well. IBM lent the company money a few years back, and when Applied Digital couldn't pay back the loan, IBM tried to collect on the collateral (Applied Digital stock). Rather than live up to the agreement, Applied Digital turned around and sued IBM, the company that they had failed to pay back the money they owed. So, sure, they may be the first RFID focused company to IPO, but hopefully how they do won't be seen as representative of the entire industry.
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