Will parents be able to track children by threads in their clothing? Will corporations be able to locate their products in your house? Will governments be able to track anything and everybody?
A Virginia inventor has devised nano radio frequency identification (RFID) tags so small they could fit inside a rayon thread and could be woven and embedded into products so they would be nearly impossible to find.
Inventor Mario W Cardullo (Alexandria, VA) has devised a nano RFID device less than about 150 nanometers in size. The nano RFID device may be a passive, active or semi-passive nano RFID device. The nano RFID device may be included into other items or products such as being woven into a fabric, for example, or incorporated into the body of a product, according U.S. Patent Application 20100001846.
The nano RFID device includes a nano antennae that may be made of one or more carbon tubes. The nano RFID device may also include a nano battery.
FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a nano RFID device that would be smaller than 150 nanometers that could be woven into clothing.
Many systems and methods exist for tracking items such as packages or shipping containers using RFID. Most RFID tags typically contain at least two parts. One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio frequency (RF) signal, and other specialized functions. The second part is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal. A technology called chipless RFID allows for discrete identification of tags without an integrated circuit, thereby allowing tags to be printed directly onto assets at a lower cost than traditional tags.
Passive RFID tags typically have no internal power supply. The electrical current induced in the antenna by the incoming radio frequency signal provides just enough power for the Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semi-Conductor integrated circuit in the tag to power up and transmit a response. Most passive tags signal by backscattering a carrier wave from a reader. This means that the antenna has to be designed both to collect power from the incoming signal and also to transmit the outbound backscatter signal. The response of a passive RFID tag is not necessarily just an ID number; the tag chip can contain non-volatile, perhaps writable EEPROM for storing data.
Semi-passive tags are similar to active tags in that they have a power source, but only powers the micro-circuitry and does not power the broadcasting of the signal. The response is typically powered by the backscattering of the RF energy from the reader.
However, the current technology for all these types of tags, passive and active, still requires relatively "large" physical packaging. Because of the size constraints, applications requiring RFID technology may be unduly restrictive.
Accordingly, there is a need for a method and device for providing RFID technology with a smaller form factor so that a wider range of application may practical.
Cardullo‘s invention meets the foregoing need with a nano RFID device and related method suitable for use in applications requiring a tracking device of a few hundred nanometers or smaller in size.
Cardullo‘s nano RFID device may be embedded into compositions, fabrics, objects, or the like, such as clothing, objects associated with clothing (e.g., buttons, tags, bands, elastic threads, emblems, clasps, zippers, or the like), plastic, resins, commercial products or the like.
In some applications, the nano RFID device, when constructed may be woven into the fabric (or similar material), or constructed as part of the material's basic structure such as one of the threads, for example.
In this type of application, this might include encasing the nano-RFID device within a filament such as when constructing rayon material, polyester material, plastic type material, or the like. The nano-RFID device may have a size of about 150 nanometers, or smaller, in all dimensions (length, width and thickness).
The nano RFID device may be embedded into a sub-assembly or a basic component of an end product that, when assembled, has the nano RFID device associated with it for tracking purposes.
FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of a process for constructing and/or using a RFID device.