RFID Tags..or some type of small tracking device...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by t300, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. t300 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2004
    RFID - It's all the rage as of late and you hear about it everywhere. To those who don't know, it's basically like a GPS, to put it simply. My question is...is this a reality yet? I have so much I really don't know what to believe or where I can believe it. I am looking to get some type of device that is small and I can hide in my backpack, therefore if it gets stolen, I (or police) can track it because I had some kind of RFID tag or device that was hidden in it. I think I could also check its status from my Mac. I know that is what Wheels Of Zeus (The Woz's company) but I don't really see any consumer product right now, or coming out soon... So, anyone have any ideas for a device that could help me?
  2. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2004
    So. Cal
    Yes, they are real today. Problem is, they are small-don't contain their own power supply, so the scanner powers it briefly and it sends out its short range radio signal. Pet ID chips are RFIDs. No, it's nothing like GPS. Stores use RFIDs to cut down on shoplifting.
  3. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    You said it Sleaze. The big fuss about RFID is its use in the retail industry for tracking products through the supply chain. The idea is that that racking stops once it leaves the store. As Sleaze mentioned, they are short range, so are only of any use when tagged items pass within proximity of a reader.

    It is not GPS, or anything like it. The only way RFID would assist the police if you lost your backpack would be to sort through the many similar-looking backpacks to determine which one is yours. It would not assist them to find it at all.

    So unless you get some GPS system happening for your backpack, this may be a ways off for you :)
  4. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    GPS is very different from RFID. GPS tracking would be a small battery powered device about the size of a cell phone. it does two things. 1) it is a GPS receiver, it receives signals from satelites in a geosycronis orbit around the earth to tell you exactly where you are. 2) it then broadcasts this location on something similar to a cell phone band once this response is activated (your car gets stolen you tell the company then they 'activate' your GPS tracker on your car if it is too far out of range or cannot get reception then youre out of luck) All an RFID does is act like a barcode, but instead of a visual scan with an infrared device all it ineeds is a proximity (within about 5/10feet) scan, which as described above momenterlly powers a radio broadcast)

    yes, there are GPS tracking devices on the market right now. they are a couple thousand dollars to buy then usually require a service fee to 'activate' every time you want to know where it is, or a monthly fee if you want to strap one to your 16 y.o.'s car to know where they are 24/7 (yes a friend of mine had one of these on her car back in high school. . . talk about strict parents)

    the only way you can 'locate' with RFID is to have at least three recievers in a building, then use them to triangulate the location of the signal, but these usually require a battery opperated broadcasting device rather than the scanable powerless devices that are being put on products instead of bar codes. so theoretically you could stick an RFID tag on your bag, then drive around town trying to triangulate the location of your lost property. it would be a lot easier to buy a new laptop and backpack.

    i think ill stop there. sorry to be so informative, im currently working on a report for an RFID product so the capabilities of it are on my mind :)
  5. FritzTheWonderM macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Planet 10
  6. t300 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2004
    Okay, forget anything was ever said about GPS. I know it really has nothing to do with RFID and I was mainly just bringing it up because I need a technology similiar to that, you know? Plus, it was 3 o'clock in the morning.

    So I guess there is pretty much nothing?

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