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BOCA RATON, Fla. Derek Jacobs, a computing prodigy who became one of the first people in the world to have an IC implanted in him, died recently in a motorcycle accident here. He was 18.
EE Times profiled Jacobs in 2002 just before a doctor was to inject an RFID device through a syringe near his shoulder.
The IC was to serve as a "human bar code," identifying Jacobs through his skin to anyone nearby equipped with an appropriate electronic reading device. Subsequently, mainstream publications began reporting on the "young pioneer."
He died on Sept. 30 after losing control of his motorcycle. Jacobs was home-schooled by his parents, Leslie and Jeff Jacobs. At the age of 12, Derek decided he wanted to be a certified systems engineer.
When the $8,000 certification costs looked daunting, the 12-year-old searched the Internet, found an educational loan from a federal Sallie Mae program, convinced his parents to support him and began taking night classes. Six months later, after attending 200 hours of classes with adults three nights a week, he collected his Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer diploma.
He entered Florida International University's engineering program at age 16 and was set to graduate next year.
"Derek was a true technology visionary," said Scott R. Silverman, chairman and CEO of Applied Digital Solutions, which manufactured the Verichip IC implanted in Derek and his parents. "I, the people of ADS and all the technology world will never forget Derek." Legacy.com hosts a book of memories about Jacobs.