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Using RFID Tags Around the House?

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the who-moved-all-my-rfid-tags dept.

Hardware Hacking 254

Attacked-by-gremlins writes "I have a larger family and various items in the house (some tools, some pieces of clothing) 'travel' unexpectedly. We joke about gremlins doing that, but it's tiring never to be sure that I'll find an object where I left it two days ago. For the sheer hacking fun of it, I'm thinking of sticking RFID tags on some and trying to triangulate a position with several tranceivers placed in the house. Has anyone have any suggestions for this amateur 'Google Home'? Thanks."

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Why Not? (4, Funny)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477242)

Beats the heck out of everyone learning to be considerate of each others' property. What benefit would that have in real life? ~

Re:Why Not? (2, Insightful)

Romancer (19668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477384)

"Beats the heck out of everyone learning to be considerate of each others' property. What benefit would that have in real life? ~"

Seriously, moderated flaimbait? Now you've got to be kidding. Funny or insightful at least, come on meta mods, please catch this one if it's not fixed now.

Mod me down for off topic if you must but I'm actually willing to take a hit if it gets this parent back into the +
The parent is a valid point about the topic.

Re:Why Not? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477530)

I believe the topic was a hacker-implemented RFID system; *not* social commentary on how a person chooses to run their household. Flamebait and insightful, at the same time!

Remember 'The Meaning of Life" (1, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477516)

Well kids, I've just come back from the store. Had to buy a hammer for the 7th time this week. I'm afraid it medical experiments for the lot of you..

Seriously, if they can't learn, I understand that chloroform does wonders. Probably reduce your food bill too..... just kidding... kind of

Your problem is a human problem that CANNOT be solved by technology. This has been discussed elsewhere on /. in regard to RFID.

Technology will never solve this problem for you unless you invest in the new Acme AC1000 Spanking Machine.

Re:Remember 'The Meaning of Life" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478292)

I don't think it's just problem with kids misplacing stuff. It also happens to adults for a lot of reasons, such as problems with memory, being interrupted while working on a project, getting over tired or just being plain lazy in not putting stuff back.

Either way, it doesn't seem far fetched that there could be a very good market for a product that could do this relatively cheap. So there you go, forget about the home tinkering and start thinking about a new business if you can find a way to make it cheap enough.

Re:Remember 'The Meaning of Life" (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478500)

It is a tool that can be used for social change.
People are very complex and can delude themselves in a great variety of ways. From confirmation bias, to 'I wouldn't do that.'

Re:Why Not? (4, Insightful)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477662)

You obviously don't have young children, or if you do, turn in your geek card now for dismissing appropriate technology for a problem that has vexed geek dads for generations. My dad attached his scissors to his desk with a chain. We learned to subvert that by using his letter opener to pry open the link. Voila, scissors walk off and disapper. With kids of my own, I find that anything of value must be physically secured, with lock and key. It is irritating when they pull out the entire set of pots, pans, and storage containers and build a barricade in the kitchen, but that's what kids do, and it is kind of cute, after all, and it's probably just a phase that they go through. But no matter what, the door to my basement office stays locked.

Re:Why Not? (3, Funny)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478036)

Yeah, can't have the kids finding the gimp locked in the "office".

Re:Why Not? (1)

OptimusPaul (940627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478266)

thanks a lot.. I just fell out of my chair laughing, until I realized I didn't lock the "office" door... gotta go.

Re:Why Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478224)

Bullshit. I had young children (growing up now). Proper discipline and parenting is what is called for. Sure, locking up things like tools just makes sense and is part of proper parenting. What is most lacking today however is proper discipline. By the age of 2 they should know to NEVER touch Dad's stuff.

Re:Why Not? (3, Insightful)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478480)

Bullshit. I had young children (growing up now). Proper discipline and parenting is what is called for. Sure, locking up things like tools just makes sense and is part of proper parenting. What is most lacking today however is proper discipline. By the age of 2 they should know to NEVER touch Dad's stuff.
Hmmm... That comment is phrased as a disagreement, but it sounds as if you generally agree with the parent.

I will second your view, in any case; it's one thing for your kids to grab your nose, pat your back, pull on your shirt, but I agree that it is absolutely essential that people forbid their their kids from touching "Dad's stuff".

On the other hand, if by "stuff", you are referring to the various possessions you have stored around your house, you are completely deluded if you think your kids with "NEVER" touch it, regardless of what kind of "discipline" you impose. If it's interesting to them (for example, because it is forbidden), they will get to it, eventually. On the other hand, if it's boring, well then, you have nothing to worry about.

Re:Why Not? (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478244)

I'm sorry, but I disagree. While I don't have children of my own, I do have serveral friends with kids as does my sister, so I do have some experience here. Yes, kids are curious and want to play with anything an everything, you will never stop that unless physical security is employed. Doing this for pretty much everything in your house is pretty much impractical. So secure the really important stuff, ie office and its contents, and let the pots and pans be used to make a fort for the kids. But don't let them get away with being little inconsiderate shits that don't put away their toys. Teach them that if they play with something, they need to put it away were it belongs. This takes time and patience, but in the end your kid will be a much more respectful of his toys and yours and treat them with more care.

Re:Why Not? (2, Interesting)

uglydog (944971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478454)

zappepcs mentioned corporal punishment as a solution. Misbehaving children seems to be a western phenomenon, at least according to the movie East is East [] . so perhaps a non-technical solution IS in order., i don't have kids. but i'll bloody well be sure to beat them soundly on a regular basis. for the sake of the future.

Re:Why Not? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477770)

Has anyone have any suggestions for this amateur 'Google Home'?

Yeah - make the interface family-friendly (it can be as simple as an alphabetical list that's easy to pull up quickly on any house screen) and take notes about how it's used and how it changes with how family interacts with "stuff" and each other. As the thread parent suggests, this is a bit of a shift, like individuals being always contactable by personal cell phone was, so there's new things to be learned. Not necessarily bad or good, but different. Making the interface daily-appliance-easy is important to keep the interaction from being coloured by tech novelty.

Also, WHO ARE YOU? "Attacked-by-gremlins" is not a /. login. Are you a geek with a tech and code background? Are you more of an ordinary guy/gal who wants to ask geeks to figure it out for you? Are you some quasi-professional blogger or journalist who wants to write this up, and maybe even profit from some patenting? WHO YOU ARE really slants your request - so what's the deal?

Re:Why Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478940)

...What benefit would that have in real life? ~
Benefit: Finding the D@Mn! remote control...

Range (4, Informative)

Cyner (267154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477254)

There's some equipment out there with decent range, but it's usually quite expensive. My $50 do-it-all tranciever has a range of about 6 inches. With the lower frequency tags you get better range, but still I don't think I've seen trancievers with anywhere-in-the-house type range.

Can RFID triangulate at short ranges? (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477672)

OK, what would it take to triangulate location within a 6" on a side cube? To within millimeter accuracy? We are currently using a multi-million dollar x-ray scanner to do this at low doses, and if this can be done for a few thousands of dollars, that would be big deal.

Re:Can RFID triangulate at short ranges? (4, Interesting)

Eristone (146133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478206)

My current employer (i.e. disclaimer - I work for 'em) has stuff [] that does this -- it's definitely not cheap though. Uses active RFID tags and wireless access points to do the triangulation stuff.

Re:Can RFID triangulate at short ranges? (2, Informative)

redxxx (1194349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478384)

Probably not RFID. I haven't seen much of anything that offers a signal strength measurement with enough granularity. In addition, signal strength is dependent on what direction the antenna(on the tag) is facing.

I don't know of anything out there commercially available with a precise enough clock to manage it time based.

You can get up to about 10 feet with certain UHF tags and receivers, but that is really pushing FCC limitation on signal power. RFID tags really just aren't locators, regardless of how much we want them to be.

Re:Range (2, Funny)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478812)

Besides, if there are in fact gremlins moving around your stuff, you're probably better off not knowing.

To do it effectively won't be cheap.... (4, Informative)

barc0001 (173002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477258)

Really. Most sub $100 readers have a range that can be measured in millimeters. To get something with about 3' or 4' of range for a single reader will cost four figures. I've done some fairly extensive testing with these readers, and it is possible to boost the range by adding external antennas (for more money). So I guess what I am saying is that what you are planning on doing is technically possible, but is not feasible for most peoples' "tinkering" budgets.

No (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477260)


Tag this. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477278)

No really, your wife likes it.

By the way, that "tool" needs cleaned again. Sorry, she likes that too.

$$$ budget? (2, Informative)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477280)

I don't know what your budget is like, but the readers can be pricey. The ones we use that are able to triangulate (2-D with two readers, 3-D with 3 readers) ran about $4k apiece. But, they would easily cover a standard sized home.

Of course, we had different needs than you, so there are probably considerably cheaper alternatives.

Re:$$$ budget? (4, Insightful)

agurk (193950) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477454)

Depending on the size of the home he might consider using readers which only covers every door. So the system atleast keeps track of which room contains said item.

I do not know if this would be cheaper, just a thought.

Re:$$$ budget? (2, Insightful)

shogun (657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478352)

Assuming of course noone just threw the item in question out the window.

Now, where dd I put that RFID scanner? (5, Funny)

MessyBlob (1191033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477290)

Now, where dd I put that RFID scanner?

Re:Now, where dd I put that RFID scanner? (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477378)

Well obviously you'd put an RFID chip on the scanner as well. Christ, do I have to think of everything around here?

Re:Now, where dd I put that RFID scanner? (2, Funny) (1021409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477848)

I just found a new sig.

Re:Now, where dd I put that RFID scanner? (5, Funny)

jblake (162981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478918)

Me too!

Patent it and sell it. (1)

Palmyst (1065142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477296)

I've had the same thought. From TV remotes to your spectacles, there are lot of things that bear some tracking. No reason why it can't be a commercial product.

Re:Patent it and sell it. (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477548)

If the remote goes missing, the cable box goes back to the provider. I have no problem with that. When the kids want to pay for cable tv... meh, let them.

Re:Patent it and sell it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478090)

aren't you a bundle of laughs.

Re:Patent it and sell it. (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478822)

Actually, all I do is reinforce boundaries of civil behavior that your children should already have learned: respect for property/things that do not belong to yourself. The reinforcement of that civil boundary of unwritten, but common sense is that if the equipment is not respected it will be taken away. No more remote = no more SpongeBob!

As adults, it is generally accepted in common sense as in law that if you fail to respect the property/things of others, you have to pay fines or be taken out of the public space for a time. Generally the judge is able to determine the length of your time-out, but mandatory sentencing often nullifies his/her opinion on the matter.

There is no reason to believe that a 6 year old is incapable of understanding this concept clearly. Perhaps you need to explain it more clearly if they are having trouble.

Re:Patent it and sell it. (1)

Yogiz (1123127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478492)

I can already picture it. You'd never have to look for your socks again.

Serious suggestion (don't use RFID) (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477326)

Buy two hammers separately. Make sure they are identical. Make sure you also have two receipts.

Next time someone misplaces your stuff, use one hammer to break their hand. If the skin breaks and blood gets on the hammer, throw it in your neighbor's yard and find a way to plant the receipt over there.

When the police come to find you, explain that you found your spouse, kid, dog, whatever in a crazed state with broken fingers. They must be hallucinating because they are blaming you. Hey, look at that! Maybe your neighbor just went inside, and, oh my god, there's a bloody hammer right next to his birdbath! Well, case closed, officer.

You'll never have anything misplaced again.

Use the other hammer to beat a dead horse (3, Funny)

beegle (9689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477972)

It seems like only one hammer is needed for you scenario.

So, what's the second hammer for? A redundant array of independent hammers?

Re:Use the other hammer to beat a dead horse (4, Funny)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478590)

So, what's the second hammer for? A redundant array of independent hammers?
No, it's so that everyone knows you still have a hammer, and you're not afraid to use it.

Re:Use the other hammer to beat a dead horse (1)

IpalindromeI (515070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478736)

For someone who doesn't learn quickly.

Re:Serious suggestion (don't use RFID) (1)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477988)

What about the second hammer?

Re:Serious suggestion (don't use RFID) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478412)

They may have misplaced the other hammer.

Re:Serious suggestion (don't use RFID) (1)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478788)

It's in case the item that goes missing is the first hammer. Always be prepared!

Re:Serious suggestion (don't use RFID) (1)

cparker15 (779546) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478510)

Your dog has fingers?

Re:Serious suggestion (don't use RFID) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478612)

patented by hans reiser, sorry :(

Re:Serious suggestion (don't use RFID) (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478712)

I knew Jack Handy read /.

X-mark (1)

RobertNotBob (597987) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477338)

I used products from a company called XMARK at my previous job. They make locater tags and equipment. It works well, but even being in that business for the last 5 years... I don't remember any company selling residential equipment.


Maybe they (or their competitors) have a smaller unit that would work.

Istle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477354)

porsty frist?

RFID Range (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477356)

I've not studied up on the technology in a while, however, won't the distance of any given object be really far from the RFID sensors in a standard sized room?

Also, what are your size constrictions?

You might want to try a loc8tor (4, Informative)

samael (12612) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477376)

Sure, I have some advice. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477394)

Have a lot of money available. Tranceivers that can detect small tags in a house-sized area are very large and expensive. Further, you would need at least two, and probably three depending on the house.

It would be less cost and trouble to just buy triplicates (or more) of everything you commonly misplace.

Re:Sure, I have some advice. (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477766)

Would it be possible to use a weaker reader and use it like a metal detector?

If you could just tag items based on where they belong then you could sweep through the house looking for items that should be in a particular place. I think the submitter would be satisfied with something that would just speed up searches for items rather than needing absolute positioning of all items in the house.

Keychain Whistles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477434)

Why fix it if it ain't borken? I have attached one of these puppies to the remote, dog food bowl, fish tank and the Roomba (just in case). In fact, the only thing I don't use it for is my keys.

didnt Wozniak try this? (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477466)

He was selling some device that could tag and find things in the home. It was more like car-key radios than RFID with a longer range.

Remote Beeping Device (1)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477496)

I haven't looked yet, but I'm pretty sure there's got to be some products out there that you attach the speaker/receiver to and then a remote that makes it beep. I know that some cordless house phones have that ability in case you misplace the phone. I've often wanted to put something similar on my remotes/keys/wallet/shoes/etc. Then you can have fun running around the house trying to find the sound.

Re:Remote Beeping Device (0, Redundant)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477692)

I did a quick search with the Google and found this: []

Re:Remote Beeping Device (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477712)

Works great, until the phone battery dies...

You will need (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477500)

many readers stashed around the house and go by lats read locations.
Getting a reader that can do a whole room will be many hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

fir5t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477590)

we Don't s0x0r as

Cheaper suggestion (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477620)

Install a security camera in the friggin' hall. Then you'll see the "ghosts" moving your clothes and stuff around :)

Then, install cheap notebooks (or perhaps mini-audio recorders) next to the doors, so the next time anyone needs something, at least they'll give you a message. "Hey Frank, I need to borrow your ipod".

If that doesn't work, hire a family counselor to force you guys to START COMMUNICATING!!

My previous reading on slashdot suggests... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477632)

Based on everything I have read (many Slashdot posts, rarely articles), the only person in your household who would implement a RFID tracking system for various objects would be your eldest son, granted that he has siblings. Also, there is a chance that your in-home child care provider would take interest in this. Why not ask them, and report back?

Garage Sale (4, Insightful)

Setherghd (942294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477650)

Have a garage sale, and get rid of everything you don't need.

If you're losing items in messy closets or bedrooms, then you probably need to clean up the clutter. That or you own way too many valuable possessions that may be stolen or permanently lost. Live simple.

I live in a small, energy-efficient home. I own exactly what I need and no more. I have a computer, a desk, a chair, books, an acoustic guitar, a bike, and a couch. And that's about it.

All of my cookware and utensils stay in the kitchen and never leave. Cleaning supplies stay in a closet. My toothbrush in the medicine cabinet.

I never lose a thing. Ever.

Re:Garage Sale (3, Funny)

wampus (1932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478588)

Good for you, I'd offer you a cookie, but you apparently have no facility to eliminate waste from your body.

Meh (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478912)

All my belongings used to fit into a large duffel bag, and I would still loose things just as often. It is more about people not putting things back when they are done using them (or having a very loose definition of when they are done using them) then it is about clutter.

Last room entered (4, Insightful)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477656)

Instead of trying to triangulate a position, you might be able to put a receivers on doorways, and log to a network each RFID signal received. This way when you look up your hammer, you can tell which doorway it last passed.

You, my good fellow... (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477722)

...are a true geek. I salute you.

Try UHF RFID Readers; they have better range (2, Interesting)

bsharma (577257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477724)

Try UHF(ISM band 903-928 MHz) RFID Readers; they have better range than HF readers (13 MHz). Intel sells a single chip (R1000) demo kit you can take and hack. You may have difficulty with large metallic objects due to reflection. Also, stuff with high water (H2O) content may absorb too much power to reflect back. With UHF, you may expect 5+ meters (20 feet) under ideal condition. The tags may be expensive in small quantity. Try to "borrow" from a larger lot. Obviously, you have to get UHF tags for UHF readers; I am not aware of multimode readers/tags.

only solution. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477774)

You can get either the $6500.00 each scanners or spend $13000 in the $50.00 scanners and put them all over the place.

simple is a central PC and scanners at every doorway 4 per doorway should do it. to cover both sides and high/low carrying. then simply query the last doorway that tag 4855432 passed by, now you have what room it is in.

This works great until someone get's wise and then carries it in the doorway blind spots or grabs things at random and makes doors detect the items then smuggle them past the sensors and put them back just to screw with you.

What you want is only possible with a HUGE amount of money. If you have a $20,000 budget I think you can do it.

Re:only solution. (1)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478220)

simple is a central PC and scanners at every doorway 4 per doorway should do it. to cover both sides and high/low carrying. then simply query the last doorway that tag 4855432 passed by, now you have what room it is in. This is actually the way I would go (only one per doorway though). I think you could do it in a pretty cost effective way, too. Triangulation inside a house would be pretty difficult given range restrictions and all the different kinds of interference and reflection from various things in the house. I bet you could homebrew a doorway antenna that would hide in the trim and be pretty effective at catching anything going through the door. I'd suggest you put them on the windows, too. Then you can set the PC to page you when anything valuable leaves the house. While you're at it, stick tags under the inserts in your kids shoes. They will never get away with sneaking out at 1am again.

What About (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23477802)

what about putting low range readers on each doorway?

hah (2, Informative)

jjshoe (410772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477810)

It seems most people here don't seem to understand active rfid vs. passive rfid.


pro - Tags are extremely small, readers are cheap, tags are cheap
con - Range, non-existant


pro - Range
con - expensive tags, tags are large, tags are battery powered

Re:hah (1)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478842)

not to mention that the readers that are able to detect how far away a tag is (as opposed to just reading the tag) will be a bit more expensive.

Oblig (1)

felipekk (1007591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477922)

hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is. []

active vs. passive rfid (2, Informative)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23477976)

As others have mentioned the range for passive RFID detection is painfully short - to do what OP wants he needs active tags and readers.

A passive RFID tag is powered by the reader - hence its short range. An active tag carries its own power supply - like the toll booth speedpass tags.

Active tags run from about the size of a dime to about the size of a paperback book - in my job I deal with the paperback book-sized tags.

Simple: BUY BIG STUFF (3, Interesting)

xant (99438) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478014)

Our obsession with making everything small leads directly to this problem. Smaller things get lost more easily.

They sell those giant-sized remote controls at Walgreens or your local random-crap-mart. Buy one, you'll never lose it again. It can't fall between the cushions of the couch because it's friggin huge. If the thing you don't want to lose doesn't come in giant-size, permanently attach it to something which is too large to lose but still portable. Gas stations have learned this lesson, that's why the bathroom key is attached to a huge plank.

To make it even easier, paint it something bright and garish.

safety (1)

PW2 (410411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478024)

Some of the old RFID readers with a 4 foot range have strong warnings on them about RF exposure. It may be cheaper to occasionally replace lost tools instead of having to someday buy medicine to reduce chronic pain of your family.

Why triangulate? (3, Interesting)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478038)

Why not have a portable reader that you can carry around with you. When you enter the room, you can get a printout of all the stuff in the room. If the printout does not correspond with your organizational directives--that's what kids are for!

So now if I have to (1)

bizitch (546406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478044)

Microwave stuff I want to hide?

Re:So now if I have to (1)

apt-get moo (988257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478908)

Microwave stuff I want to hide?
I'd like to see the plasma burst you get from microwaving my tinfoil hat, but I guess I'll leave that pleasure to you.

"Google" Home, of course... (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478050)

...because, and I'm serious, when one thinks of Google, one thinks of an amoral to evil enabler of totalitarian Police States.

Re:"Google" Home, of course... (1)

apt-get moo (988257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478676)

...because, and I'm serious, when one thinks of Google, one thinks of an amoral to evil enabler of totalitarian Police States.
I do see the anology to my parents!

And as a German, I even see the anology to my grand-parents,

The RFIDHouse (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478060)

For this to be really useful, I think you need an RFID tag on every item in the home. First, construct a new home with a single entry point (you can add emergency exits for fire safety.) The front entry room will contain a computer and an RFID tagging device. Every single object that comes through the door gets tagged, named, photographed, and described in the computer system before it is allowed into the house.

It's a little work upfront, but think of the advantages. No time wasted organizing your possessions. No time wasted "tidying up." Nothing can ever be out of place, because nothing BELONGS anywhere. The mixing bowl might not be in the kitchen, but it's no trouble. Just search for it using any of the dozens of wall terminals installed around the house, and a series of flashing arrows will direct you right to your desired object.

Re:The RFIDHouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478826)

And then we need a system that
Can move those objects around the house and into the trash as needed. When you tire of something you right click and delete it. Not very Earth friendly but takes care of clutter in a hurry.

The other socks (1)

gksmith (1277536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478124)

At last we may discover where all the missing socks go after they're put in the dryer!

TOP SECRET FACT:Most cars tracking RFID ALREADY! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478132)

Forget your house, try scanning your garage to see what RFIDs the feds see when you drive over wires buried in certain roads.

  TOP SECRET FACT:Most modern cars have tracking transponders ALREADY!

Spy transmission chips embedded in tires that can be read REMOTELY while driving.

Yup. My brother works on them (since 2001).

The us gov T.R.E.A.D. act (which passed) made it illegal to sell new passenger cars lacking untamperable RFID in the tires allowing efficient scanning of moving cars.

Your tires have a passive coil with 64 to 128 bit serial number emitter in them! (AIAG B-11 ADC v3.0) . A particular frequency energizes it enough so that a receiver can read its little ROM. A ROM which in essence is your GUID for your TIRE. Multiple tires do not confuse the readers. Its almost identical to all "FastPass" "SpeedPass" technologies you see on gasoline keychain dongles and commuter windshield sticker-chips. The US gov has secretly started using these chips to track people.

Its kind of like FBI "Taggants" in fertilizer and "Taggants" in Gasoline and Bullets, and Blackpowder. But these car tire transponder Ids are meant to actively track and trace movement of your car.

Taggant chemical research papers :
(remove spaces in url from slashcode if needed)

The chips in your tires are for forensic "after the fact" database tracking, from databases collected on highway choke points, It can be done in real time too though.

I am not making this up. Melt down a high end Firestone, or Bridgestone tire and go through the bits near the rim (sometimes at base of tread) and you will locate the transmitter (similar to 'grain of rice' pet ids and Mobile SpeedPass, but not as high tech as the tollbooth based units). Sokymat LOGI 160, and Sokymat LOGI 120 transponder buttons are just SOME of the transponders found in modern high end car tires. The AIAG B-11 Tire tracking standard is now implemented for all 3rd party transponder manufactures [covered below].

It is allegedly for QA and to prevent fraud and "car theft", but the US Customs service uses it in Canada to detect people who swap license plates on cars when doing a transport of contraband on a mule vehicle that normally has not logged enough hours across the border. The customs service and FBI do not yet talk about this, and are starting using it soon.

A secret initiative exists to track all funnel-points on interstates and US borders for car tire ID transponders (RFID chips embedded in the tire).
The governement can then either look back in databases to see wheere and when your car drove, and OCR liscense plates at tool or Customs can
build the database up even better without the feds needing to visit your home to get your RFID GUIDs.

More sinister, it is near impossible to buy tires without the vendor in the USA filling out federal paperwork of what VIN the recipient car is!

Photos of tracking chips before molded deep into tires! :

PLEASE LOOK AT THAT LINK : Its the same shocking tire material I have been trying to tell people about since the spring of 2001 on slashdot.

a controversial dead older link was at

(slashdot ruins links, so you will have to remove the ASCII space it insertes usually into any of my urls to get to the shocking info and photos on the enbedded LOGI 160 chips that the us gov scans when you cross mexican and canadian borders.)

You never heard of it either because nobody moderates on slashdot anymore and this is probably +0 still. It has also never appeared in print before and is very secret.

Californias Fastpass is being upgraded to scan ALL responding car tires in future years upcoming. I-75 may get them next in rural funnel points in Ohio.

The photo of the secret high speed overpass prototype WAS at : ...but the shocking link finally died in July 2004 and the new location 2005 does not have a photo of a RFID bridge underpass RFID database collector. But this 20005 link below does discuss their toll booth RFID tracking uses...

In 2008 Sirit contracted with DOD and US Gov (Highways) to track cars and trucks with RFID. their web site discusses such, and the DOD one uses RFID in tires :
On 2008.05 that web site admitted fed highway use but only for tolling. They are not allowed to divulge top secret actual purpose..

but the fact is... YOU PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE A RADIO TRANSPONDER not counting your digital cell phone which is routinely silently pulsed in CA bay area each rush hour morning unless turned off (consult Wired Magazine Expose article). Those data point pulses are used by NSA on occasions.

The us FBI with NRO/NSA blessings, has requested us gov make this tire scanning information as secret as the information regarding all us inkjet printers sold in usa in the last 3 years using "yellow" GUID barcode under dark ink regions to serialize printouts to thwart counterfeiting of 20 dollar bills. (30 to 40 percent of ALL California counterfeiting is done using cheap Epson inkjet printers, most purchased with credit cards foolishly). Luckily court dockets divulge the existence of the Epson serial numbers on your printouts... but nobody except a handful of people know about this Tire scanning upgrade to big brother's arsenal. (ALSO NOTE that I tried telling people about Epson Serial numbers in yellow ink on slashdot in 2001 in the original very similar version to this large post but PEOPLE IGNORED me until the "finally" confirmed it 8 years later in 2005 on front pages of all major newspapers and on slashdot recently). This tire info is and was confirmed equally 100% factual.

YOU MUST BUY NEUTRALIZED OR FOREIGN TIRES!!!!! Soon such tires will become illegal to import or manufacture, just as Gasoline must have "Taggants" added or gasoline is illegal, as are non-self-aging 9 mm bullets.

It is currently VERY illegal to buy or disable the "911 help" GPS emitter in digital cell phones in the US or ship a modified phone across state borders, but it is still legal to turn off your cell phone in your car while traveling. As you should. And you should be wary of your tires now too. :

Alternatively you could illegally build jamming devices at : 13.56 MHz (TI-RFid) , + many close freqs or a few others. If microwave is ever employed you might not be able to effectively jam but your brain would possibly cook over time, as it now known as of this year that the three harmonic resonances of water are not the only chemical actions harming human tissue at gigaherz frequencies. Jammers would be illegal and violators easy to locate. Tire removal is the only option.

RFIDs have been covertly used and sold by TI for over ten years are in many many products... and now your tires are being read by the us gov as you drive at speeds of up to 100 Mph on primary US interstate corridors. (Actually 160 km/h).

Those same US interstate corridors have radiation detectors too, but a small layer of stacks of interlocked graphite blocks those from detecting stealthy deliveries. Graphite blocks are IDEAL for shipping "dirty bomb" components, I believe.

Anyway, regarding tire radio transmitters: the sokymat LOGI 160, and sokymat LOGI 120) are just SOME of the transponders found in modern tires. The earliest tire radio spy chips had only 64 bit serial numbers but they have rapidly evolved post Sept 11 bombings: LOGI 160 LOGI 120 has 224 bit R/W memory ( to be marked using external hand help injectors with "salt" info when the fbi tags your parked car.

Basically the FBI "marks your car" without touching it physically, thus eliminating a "warrant" to put a locater on your vehicle. Just as the FBI can listen to you while you are at home by LEGALLY bouncing an infrared beam off your vibrating window pane and modulating the signal, the US Gov can LEGALLY inject (program) a saltable read-write sokymat LOGI eeprom tire chip (and other brands of tire transponders)

Using these chips to track people while they drive is actually the idea of the us gov, and current chips CANNOT BE DISABLED or removed. They hope ALL tires will have these chips in 5 years and hope people have a very hard time finding non-chipped tires. Removing the chips is near impossible without destroying the tire as the chips were designed with that DARPA design goal.

They are hardened against removal or heat damage or easy eye detection and can be almost ANYWHERE in the new "big brother" tires. In fact in current models they are integrated early and deep into the substrate of the tire as per US FBI request.

Our freedom of travel are going away in 2003, because now there is an international STANDARD for all tire transponder RFID chips and in 2004 nearly ALL USA cars will have them. Refer to AIAG B-11 ADC, (B-11 is coincidentally Post Sept 11 fastrack initiative by US Gov to speed up tire chip standardization to one read-back standard for highway usage).

The AIAG is "The Automotive Industry Action Group"

The non proprietary (non-sokymat controlled) standard is the AIAG B-11 standard is the "Tire Label and Radio Frequency Identification" standard

"ADC" stands for "Automatic Data Collection"

The "AIDCW" is the US gov manipulated "Automatic Identification Data Collection Work Group"

The standard was started and finished rapidly in less than a year as a direct consequence of the Sep 11 attacks by Saudi nationals.

I believe detection of the AIAG B-11 radio chips (RFID serial number transponders) in the upgraded car tracking is currently secret knowledge. Another reason to leave "finger print on Driver license" California, but Ohio gets it next, as will every other state eventually.

The AIAG is claiming the chips reduce car theft, assist in tracking defects, and assists error-proofing the tire assembly process. But the real secret is that these 5 cent devices are a us government backed initiative to track citizens travel without their consent or ability to disable the transponders in any way.

All tire manufacturers were forced to comply AIAG B-11 3.0 Radio Tire tracking standard by the 2004 model year.

(B-11: Tire & Wheel Label & Radio Frequency ID(RFID) Standard)

Viewing b11 synopsis is free, downloads from that are $10 and tracked by the FBI. Use a google cache to avoid leaving breadcrumbs.

A huge (28 megabyte compressed zip) video of a tire being scanned remotely was at (the file is "video").
THAT LINK was still valid in Feb 2004 but in July 2004 died after feds saw my origianl warnings regarding T.R.E.A.D. act (RFID citizen tracking). For all dead all links in my post, use Archive.Org

[I guess viewing it is now a terrorist action. That link WAS valid from 2001 to 2004 though. At least my battle cry was valid for many years]

And just as "open" showerheads are now illegal to import into the USA from Canada or mexico, as are drums of industrial Freon, and standard size tank toilets are illegal to import for home use, soon car tires without radio transponders will be illegal to bring across state borders.

The US gov is getting away with this. You read it here first by me in 2001, but fbi shills kept marking my message to -1 to silence this post. It never gets modded up, and this is the probably fourth time I posted it over the last 3 years.

Hundreds of millions of RFID equipped tires were shipped in the last year. (Yes hundreds of millions according to AIAG).

US Congress's recently passed Transportation Recall Enactment, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD or T.R.E.A.D.) making it illegal to import or sell car tires and light truck tires without these radio transmitting RFID coils readable on them to track us citizens in a retroactive databse. The New York throughway has over 200 RFID reader points and I am not discussing the few at actual exits I am talking about 200 along the highway itself. New York says its for "safety" though they already get over 20 FBI subpoenas per year for RFID records from these transmitters. They get full computer files each time, but the FBI wants fresh data.

The TREAD act is just a branch of the Patriot Act, though much more sinister.

TREAD link (not a great one, look toward bottom) :

4 out of 5 times this post was rapidly modded to -1 by fbi shills angry at the epson ink info and tire info and explosives taggant info and only one time did it survive the FBI negative modding Slashdot accounts and remain at +2 by the next day. If you like to read RFID facts like this that I BROKE FIRST IN SPRING OF 2001 here on Slashdot, then keep this vital post from getting modded to -1 by idiots that cannot follow links or perform searches for themselves.

Learn and read. Every word in this post is sadly factual.

cheaper, more fun buy 10 or chain em down (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478172)

it would be more cost efficient to buy 10 of each item you keep losing. I keep a hairbrush chained to the bathroom counter with one of those bank pen-chain things (double length), I was sick of every single brush ending up not in the bathroom where I try to brush my hair. I wanted to do the same with the remote for the TV (chained to the couch), but have not yet.

As for tools, I buy cheap wrench sets whenever they are on sale, and I only break out the good wrenches after I have broken one of my cheapies. They are all stuck to the wall of the garage on kitchen knife magnet strips, so they are out of the reach of little fingers.

You will need quite a bit of money (1)

yapkke (1292714) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478242)

I will have to disagree this is solely a human problem. Technology can solve this. But it is not cheap. It is claimed that a better to give a rough location rather than to triangulate, which requires a subsequent mapping. Details can be found in K. K. Yap, V. Srinivasan, and M. Motani, MAX: Human-Centric Search of the Physical World, Proceedings of ACM Sensys 2005, San Diego, CA, USA, November 2005. Available at [] But the cost is quite forbiddingly now. I actually have a working prototype but it is nowhere near economical. Good luck and let me know if you can find passive cheap readers with the range needed (about 1m). Disclaimer: I authored this paper.

Just *DON'T* find missing socks (2, Funny)

jnadke (907188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478300)

Whatever you do, *DON'T* put RFID tags on your socks.

They're missing for a reason. If you find them, a paradoxical black hole will open up in your dryer and engulf the entire planet. Trust me, I've done the math.

For the love of god... not the socks.

Sounds like a NASA joke (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478424)

This sounds like the NASA joke of spending 1.5Million to write in space where as the USSR used a pencil. []

The cheap solution is to purchase some of these cheap tags and attach them to the objects in question; [] [] []

That last one is under $2US.

monitor doorways (2, Interesting)

mathimus1863 (1120437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478470)

So it's too expensive to buy the readers to do triangulation. But you could buy the cheap readers and put them on doorways to trace things as they pass by. Then you can track what room an object was last seen in. That is probably sufficient for your purposes.

Homeseer (2, Informative)

wpiman (739077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478538)

I use a product called Homeseer and alot of people are already doing this. There are two types of tags people are using, iAutomate tags and cheaperRFID tags. The iAutomate tags are more complex, and hence more expensive. I have the Cheaper RFID tags. I have one in our laptops bags-- if no laptops are present-- no wifi. I don't believe they do triangulation. The iAutomate ones do- but are far more expensive-- at least when I last looked.

Solve the lost item problem in a more logical way (0, Redundant)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478606)

Rather than spend lots of money on a technical "solution" that's almost certainly doomed to fail, how about structuring your life so that it's hard for things to get lost?

Most effective first step: clean up. Lost items are hard to see when they're mixed in with random clutter. Do whatever is necessary to get everything "put away"; more storage locations, less stuff, pick the stuff up and put it away. Imagine trying to find a pair of pliers in an empty room - now imagine trying to find the same pair of pliers in a child's bedroom.

Organization can help a lot too. Items that travel usually don't just make one hop. The sooner you notice they're gone, the easier it'll be to retrieve them. Things like a pegboard on the wall with the shapes of all the tools painted on it; sure, it might look a bit "anal" but it makes it very easy to glance at the wall and see that the pliers aren't there. You could use various organizational techniques to accomplish the same goal - the "win" here is that you can almost see things leave so you can easily find them - and notice that they're gone and start your search before you actually need the item. Much better to chase that adjustable wrench today rather than in three weeks when the water faucet springs a leak.

And communication is also a great tool - especially if there's children involved. Those "press to talk" cell phones are just about perfect for this. After the kids have been embarrassed by Dad asking about lost tools a few times they'll adjust their behavior.

And finally - put this stuff in its proper perspective. On the scale of big things in life; marriage, children, happiness - well, that lost hammer just isn't very important. Some may suggest that a person who is considering spending thousands of dollars to track his missing tools (that are worth maybe a hundred, tops) may have some "issues". Your mileage may vary...

Other uses for household RFID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478616)

Would this work for the socks that my dryer eats?

big brother? No, how about little brother? (1)

whtmarker (1060730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478700)

We lose things all the time, but find most of them, others are lost for good. So we have to compare the cost of RFID tags + RFID scanner, vs the value of the items permanently lost + the inconvenience of items temporarily lost.

Suggestions? (2, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478702)

"I'm thinking of sticking RFID tags on some and trying to triangulate a position with several tranceivers placed in the house. (Does) anyone have any suggestions(?)"

When you have people over for a dinner party, turn off the speaker that says "PLEASE RETURN TO THE STORE!"

Minus 4, Troll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23478806) [] (1)

Parhelion (857262) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478924)

The best answer was given already. [] [] [] [] [] [] This directional handheld device costs less than $100 and comes with some tags to get you started.

Gremlins my ass (1)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478930)

1. Collect Attacked-by-gremlins' stuff
2. ???
3. Profit!

RFID Reader and Tags (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23478968)

Sparkfun [] has a nice RFID reader for $35 and tags for $2.00. The only problem the RFID has a reading distance of 8 inches. A UHF system is in the thousands of $$.
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