When Neo is detained by the Agents, they place a tracking device inside of him. Do they insert a physical device into his actual body, or did they install a virtual tracking device into his matrix program? Bugging the pod body makes more sense than trying to use a computer bug that Morpheus and his hackers could see, isolate and remove from the Matrix.

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    "Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place? Do you think that's air you're breathing now?"
    – K-H-W
    Jun 25, 2012 at 22:24
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    @KeithHWeston: Why not? class Human { template <typename T> void breathe(T air); }; ... neo.breathe(Air<MatrixV3>()); Works for me (note however that neo isa class TheOne : public Human { void doCrazyStuff() const; };.
    – bitmask
    Jun 25, 2012 at 22:29
  • @KeithHWeston You can't hack a hacker...No wonder the humans won. The machines did not compute. Jun 25, 2012 at 22:45
  • Well put, Keith! Dec 8, 2012 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


In The Matrix there is no such distinction. Every (virtual) program manifests itself as a physical device in the simulated reality that is the Matrix.

Some examples from the top of my head

  • For instance the tracking device used by the free people (red/blue pills) are actual pills.
  • The emotion that the Oracle implants in Neo manifests itself as Cookie.

And the tracking device used by the Agents is no difference, it appears as physical "bug".

Now, in case you are referring to the biological body that is sitting in the pods in the real world, that is very unlikely, for two reasons.

They are trying to track him inside the Matrix, but you could argue that by now they might have figured out that the free humans like to free other humans. But if you think about the scene where the Nebuchadnezzar has to hide from the sentinels, this rules out a physical tracking device: If they had implanted a physical device the sentinels would have had no trouble finding the Nebuchadnezzar, even with all its systems powered down and Morpheus wearing a hat.

  • I was wondering about the pod body. That's where the bug would have made more sense. Jun 25, 2012 at 22:44
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    @MajorStackings: Then see the second half of my post. As an addendum: If they would have been after the real world version of Morpheus, why would they have bothered to install a bug in the Matrix in addition to the one in his real body? A real bug would be an actual machine in itself and independent from a representation in the Matrix.
    – bitmask
    Jun 25, 2012 at 23:22
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    But what if Morpheus wasn't wearing a hat?
    – Kapler
    Mar 21, 2014 at 14:58
  • @FGreg: Then all would have been lost!
    – bitmask
    Mar 21, 2014 at 15:23

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