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RFID chip from library book

November 27, 2010
RFID chip from discarded library book

RFID chip from discarded library book

Diane was looking at a beautiful children’s book that she’d bought online.  It was a discard form the San Diego County Library.  We read recently that demand for “picture books” is declining as parents internalize the mistaken idea that “chapter books” without pictures are better for their young children – to the extent that libraries are getting rid of them.  In the back cover of the book, she noticed a sticker without any writing on it.  She picked at the edge of the sticker but it wouldn’t budge.  “How can I remove this sticker?” she said.

It was an RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) sticker, consisting of a printed antenna with a little computer chip in the middle.  The antenna collects power for the chip and re-transmits a code when passing through a sensor.  The sticker was most assuredly not made to be removed without damaging the book.  She didn’t want to set off any alarms carrying the book around.  Not likely, I said, but let me see.

There was a little bump in the sticker – that would be the chip itself.  I lifted it out with my pocketknife.  It’s about two and a half fingerprint ridges wide.  The sticker will remain where it is, antenna and all… but nobody’s home.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 27, 2010 at 18:29 | #1

    George, you should have stuck the sticker/antenna/chip assembly into your passport.
    That’d confuse the TSA ;-)

  2. November 29, 2010 at 15:10 | #2

    I just think the camera must be amazing to pick up that kind of detail on something obviously so small.

  3. dof
    November 30, 2010 at 04:40 | #3

    @David – if you are shopping, Canon G-11. Somewhat simpler equivalent would be Canon S95.
    @Stu – I love the passport idea! On a related thought, remember that guy who found an FBI tracking device on his car? I’ve thought of what would be fun to do with such a toy. Stick it to a garbage truck or something.

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