p2p news / p2pnet: A South African company says it’s come up with technology that can pinpoint any UHF RFID tag within read range.
RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification, which in turn can also mean Spy Chip. The miniaturised radio systems are used for inventory control, not to mention tracking people without their knowledge or consent, to name but one other function.
Badges given to dignitaries including presidents and prime ministers at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, at the end of 2003, were bugged with RFID chips. More recently, parents forced a school in California to abandon its plan to make students wear ID cards embedded with spy chips around their necks.
“Claiming a breakthrough that could revolutionize how UHF RFID is used, Trolley Scan, a Johannesburg, South Africa, developer of radio frequency identification technologies, says it has developed a new technology that enables low-cost readers (interrogators) to identify the location of UHF RFID tags, both passive and active,” says the RFID Journal.
Uses could include, “monitoring the movement of assets in a building or keeping track of children in a nursery. Airports could use the technology not only to locate baggage and passengers as they move through a terminal, but also to monitor any unauthorized staff entry into security zones.”
The system uses currently available UHF tags and existing UHF spectrums allotted to RFID, says the RFID Journal, going on that RFID-Radar is currently at the prototype stage, although the company has reportedly already built a functioning reader.
“The system works with UHF tags independent of make or model, or the protocol or standards on which they are based,” says the story.
“This technology adds a significant amount of computing power, compared with that offered by UHF readers currently on the market. That extra computing power enables the reader to calculate the distance of a transponder within an accuracy of 0.5 meters and a pointing direction of within just 1 degree. Up to 100 transponders can be located simultaneously, at a distance limited only by the read range of the specific tags being tracked. In a two-reader system, the interrogators can operate within 4 meters of each other.”
This kind of “positional sensing capability” has traditionally required either three or more readers to triangulate the transponder position or, “as found in military radar applications,” equipment costing up to $1 million and a large swathe of spectrum, adds the RFID Journal. “By contrast, the company’s offering can be set to operate in any frequency range, from 860 to 960 MHz, and uses just 10 kHz of spectrum for the energizing signal.”
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Spy Chip – Wal-Mart spy chips, October 21, 2005
RFID chips – Dignitaries bugged at World Summit, December 15, 2003
abandon its plan – CA school drops spy-chip ID, February 23, 2005
RFID Journal – Company Aims to Turn Readers to Radar, October 28, 2005