Hitatchi Unveils "Dust Sized" RFID Chips...

I am all for using RFID Chips for Inventory and parcel tracking(Anyone who has ever done a hand count in an electronics parts warehouse would be insane to feel otherwise), but these things strike me as the ultimate in stealth tracking. Would you like these “embedded” in your stuff?


Your thoughts?


(Note to Mod, I am posting this here as I imagine a huge amount of dissenting opinion, but feel free to place this where you see fit)

In all seriousness, I believe that they should be embedded in all children until they turn 16, and then they should be removed to allow older children the “freedom” that they require to grow and begin to develop the maturity they will need as an adult.

I personally would love to Lojack my son. As much as he likes to run, if you turn your head he’s gone, and while it wouldn’t mitigate my responsibility to be attentive it would remove that never-ending queasy feeling in my stomach when we go somewhere.

Added: As for the possibility that they could be used to track material objects, I would say no unless it is requested, like the Lojack feature that Dell offers.

RFID chips are not like GPS tracking devices; they don’t so much tell you where something is as what it is, when you’re already in close proximity to it. They’d be approximately as effective at tracking a child as, say, making him wear a hat with a barcode printed on it.

Any idea how the range at which these could be detectable? Or whether a “reader” need be tuned to a particular chip’s frequency?

I’d imagine - like most technology - this could be have a host of wonderful and undesireable applications.
Airman Doors - I can well appreciate the superficial attractiveness of monitoring your kids this way, I like to think that it is far more rewarding for both parties if the kids have their freedom within which they can make stupid decisions like their parents did, and the parents need to wrestle with the decision of whether they are being too strict or lax with junior. And from my experience, you can keep pretty tight reins on your kids with far older technology that this! :wink:

A matter of feet in most cases, longer ranges IIRC require larger antennas, requiring larger RFID devices.

It is pretty much impossible to use them outside of short ranged security scanner/inventory scanner ranges or in some cases with larger ones, a decent sized department of a store could be blanket scanned by an appropriately powered/positioned array.

Funny, this.

Of course, the government could track your son, too, if you can. So can any other perv over there who buys into the technology.

Still liking the idea?


Or finding a runaway dog with a chip in him.

We track our kids too damn closely as it is today. I’m not sure my kids in college, who seem to be in cellphone contact with us every five minutes, are better off than I was, who called on a payphone once a week.

BTW, this seems like yet another example of people freaking out about technology they don’t understand. Look people, not all of us in the IC industry are monsters out to violate your privacy.

Sure, why not? I’m not under the delusion that anyone in the entire world is interested in “stealth tracking” my stuff.

If it gets me out of the grocery store 5 minutes faster every week, that’s 5 minutes of my life un-wasted.

Not to mention allow you to have a refrigerator and attachments to send the contents of your fridge and cabinets to your grocery database which can be configured to send the data to your mobile phone, so when you are at the grocery store, you don’t have to forget anything.

Learn how the tech works then get back to us. Notice my post right above yours, ranges on ANY passive RFID items is in the range of 10-20 feet tops. Your post is completely off base.

The style of paranoia you are preaching would involve ACTIVE RFID sytesm which require a power source and currently are much larger than the tags we see in consumer products.

It was in response to someone hoping to track his kid with them. Whether it’s RFID or subcutaneous trackers, anything that allows the one allows the other. Right?


Hypothetically, could a criminal get access to one of the readers and be able to drive around a neighborhood and see what all kinds of stuff people have in their houses? I don’t really know what all these chips will be installed in, but if it’s higher priced electronics or anything, it’d be like x-ray vision for burglars. Just my two cents, I could be TOTALLY off base. But hey, that’s why I’m asking.

Yeah, but they would have to get up pretty close to the house. The whole 10-20 feet thing. But there is already a technology that allow burglars to see what you own with that kind of distance. It’s called a window. :wink:

But some of us have shades.

The battle between measure and countermeasure continues!

If you were to cover your walls in lead sheeting they probably couldn’t use an RFID on your home. :slight_smile:


Not to mention you have to hit the chip with enough RF energy to broadcast a return that will penetrate residential walls.

Hitting a house with that much RF would cause noticable effects like interference with computers, TV reception, cordless and cell phone reception, not to mention flat out cook the RFID chips you are trying to trigger.

Cell phones have a hard enough time doing that in many cases and they transmit at several orders of magnitude higher in power. Scaning of large areas of retail stores is done with dozens or even hundreds of antennae scattered across that area. The chips in question are designed for marking things like currency, casino chips, event tickets, or anything else that might be counterfeited. In that case the item marked would probably be within inches of the reader, maybe a 12" tops for ticket windows or casino cashiers if the readers were under the counter surface. For chips that size thats a very realistic range.

Please kindly return your knee to the unjerked position merijeek,

So you’re saying that I’m incorrect that a tracking technology being used for one purpose can be used for other, less palatable purposes?

Because otherwise, I don’t see your point.


I’m not keen on the idea of a mall being able to know what brand of pants I’m wearing and where I bought it. Or the McDonalds drive-through knowing what groceries I have in the back seat. It’s way to easy to collect, connect and sell personal data now. I’d at least like a fighting chance to remove the tags.

On a similar note, there was an announcement maybe a month ago, about how the key chains for Cooper Minis were being used to trigger personal billboards. So far, it’s an opt-in beta test. That to is RFID driven. Goodie, now the billboards are tracking my daily commute. In this case, it’s got a 500ft range.

The currency applications alone are fascinating.

I’d welcome a brief description of the tech. How easy is it to scramble, permanently, the info on these chips? Are they solid-state? If they respond to an induced current with no power source of their own, doesn’t this mean thay could theoretically be fried by upping the juice?

I think the trouble with making them so small will be that they will end up everywhere - not just embedded in the objects we want to identify, but floating around loose, generating lots of false hits.