Tag Archives: rfid chip

IoT and Security

The potential benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been promoted extensively within the media. Previously, innate objects such as your fridge or shirt, will soon have a chip embedded in them and be able to interact with each other. The benefits to our everyday lives will apparently be exponential, the most important of which will most certainly be in the healthcare industry and devices that enhance our personal safety.

The internet of things functions not only within individual items, but as part of a network of tiny devices, home computers and large servers. Throughout this network, lies a wide range of interests that concern people in conflicting ways. However, it seems that ubiquitous communication between the things we buy will benefit us. But, it is also known that big businesses and the government are using computer systems to accumulate data.

This is all part of what is called the “surveillance state.” Surveillance is carried out in the name of national security by pretty much every global nation and is nothing new. However, what has changed following the digital revolution is the capacity for the collecting and storing information.

While it is illegal for the U.S. government to collect data relating to someone’s personal communications without a warrant, it is legal to collect the metadata from the networks which contains individuals IP addresses and location data, which can even reveal how long we have spent in a certain place and the websites we visit.

With the advent of the RFID chip came the capacity to build the internet of things and the chips can be placed into just about anything. If IoT becomes as big as predicted, it’s inevitable that large amounts of data pertaining to the behavior of individuals within society will be collected, analyzed and stored by anyone with the capability to do so. It will be used not only to see how we are, but predict how we are evolving as consumers and citizens.

The issue is that networked technologies are evolving at a much faster pace than legislature can keep up with, making the first phase of the IoT digital revolution wide open for exploitation. It is undoubted that digital technology can enhance our lives in wonderful ways if we are open to it, but it must be received with the caveat that individuals must lobby to protect any aspect of their identity that is being exploited. While some tech companies are very involved in regards to protecting our data, the IoT revolution is happening too quickly to be able to guarantee “absolute privacy,” to which some may argue there is no absolute right.

How do you feel about IoT and security? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

RFID Implants: Will They Become Mainstream?

At this years Toorcamp, a meetup for Hackers, there was an “implantation station” where, for $30, attendees could get RFID chips implanted into their hands.

The two-millimeter diameter EM4012 RFID chip was implanted between the thumb and the index finger using a high-gauge syringe. Throughout the weekend, a total of eight attendees underwent the RFID implantation of the 500 at Toorcamp. The “implantation station” was out in the open for all to see, and was available to anyone who was willing to sign a liability waiver and pay the fee.

Arnal Graafstra, the man behind the “implantation station,” uses the RFID chips to access his home, turn on his motorcycle and even authenticate his phone, the NFC-enabled Samsung Galaxy Nexus. While some may think that hackers would be concerned with privacy, Graafstra insists that the chips he implants are difficult to read from more than a few inches away.

Graafstra keeps his “implantation station” to the confines of Toorcamp for now, but perhaps one day, RFID implants will become mainstream?

Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages and watch the video below to see the implantation in action:

RFID for BP

In order to prevent another travesty like the oil spill that occurred in 2010, BP is installing a corrosion-monitoring system using RFID for their steel pipes at 11 refineries. BP is able to attach battery-powered wireless sensors to the pipe’s exterior, allowing for remote measurement of the thickness of each pipe’s wall.

Over the next few years, BP plans to install thousands of sensors. Each sensor will send ultrasonic waves into a pipe wall and measure the waves reflected back. Then, the sensor’s RFID chip will transmit its unique ID number and the data at preset intervals. Once the data is transmitted, a servers hosted by BP stores and interprets the information, then making it available to engineers and management online.

Eventually, BP’s refineries could contain tens of thousands of systems in order to prevent pipe corrosion. Obviously, BP is making a big investment in improving their current structure for the good of the world. Let us know what you think about BP implementing RFID technology by commenting here, or on our facebook or twitter pages.

POS Solutions with an iPad?

I recently came across an interesting solution that allows an iPad to be integrated to a store’s POS by simply using an RFID tag, software from Global Bay, a credit card, RFID receiver and RFID antenna, and of course, an iPad. The particular video(below) that I saw used the Zebra RW 220 in order to print customer receipts.

With this solution, retail stores could offer loyalty cards for, let’s say, the top 10% of their customers. The loyalty card would be embedded with an RFID chip, and upon the customers’ entrance to the store, the store clerk would be alerted on the iPad.

Instantly, information about the customer can be automatically retreived, including all of their past purchases. This creates countless opportunities for enhanced buyer experience. With the wardrobing tool that comes with the software, store clerks would be able to assemble outfits with previously purchased items in conjunction with in-store items in order to create a shopping cart, or even a wish-list that integrates with an e-commerce site for later purchases. Should a product be out of stock, there’s even a product locater feature.

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RFID Throughout the World

king fahd rfidThe RFID lab at the King Fahd University is spreading the adoption of RFID technology in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the healthcare sector. By studying patient tracking and medication dispensing, the lab at King Fahd University has developed a system to outfit individuals with RFID-based wristbands in order to improve the level of care given in hospitals.

The lab’s researches were able to design a system to immediately identify patients when they enter the facility’s emergency room by using readers that interrogate the unique numbers on their RFID bracelets. From there, the patient’s medical information would be able to be accessed through the database, and then linked to the unique ID number saved on the RFID wristband, providing doctors and nurses with faster, more accurate information. Ultimately, the lab hopes for robots to be utilized in order to lead patients to their proper treatment rooms.

Researchers at the University also worked on a prototype system in which the same RFID wristband could also be used to give patients access to locket pill cases. Each reader would be connected to a microcontroller that regulates which medication is to be dispensed and when. In addition, status reports could be made about patients and displayed on an LCD screen for the nurse or caregiver to review.

Although RFID still isn’t a fully adopted technology the researchers at King Fahed University seem to be making strides toward utilizing the technology to their full advantage.

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