10 Best Uses for RFID Tags
1// Saguaro cacti
On the landscaping black market, these succulents sell for more than $1,000. Arizona’s Saguaro National Park plans to use RFIDs to track hot cacti.
2// Indian elephants
The New Delhi forest department requires pet jumbos be chipped to prevent trafficking. No parades until implanted.
3// Surgical sponges
One out of every thousand or so intra-abdominal surgery patients “retains” a sponge. Oops! With SmartSponges, docs can find stowaways by passing a wand over the body.
Security firm Xega uses GPS chips to track kidnapped people—a pretty big market in a nation where 6,500 were abducted last year.
5// Pirelli tires
A chip inside the new Cyber Tyre transmits info on road conditions and friction coefficients to the car’s computer.
At Barcelona’s Baja Beach Club, VIPs are injected with RFIDs linked to debit accounts, making wallets passé. Handy when all you’re wearing is a thong.
The city aims to blanket itself with microchips—from bus stops to restaurants. Tourists may soon get maps, schedules, tips, and other info just by waving their cell phones.
8// Police badges
The Blackinton SmartShield badge hides an ID chip, preventing knockoffs. Good idea: Remember Terminator 2?
Forced to release prisoners due to overcrowding, Britain wants to chip them. Cops would know if, say, a felon enters a school.
10// Cat doors
Kitty flaps are great—until you find a possum hanging from your towel rack. The Pet Porte waves through only preapproved critters.