mu mu goes the cow

Tom tomwhore@inetarena.com
Thu, 4 Oct 2001 14:21:17 -0700 (PDT)


http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?Story_id=779580

IN TODAY'S information age, everybody leaves an electronic trail in their
wake. With every credit-card purchase, ATM transaction, telephone call and
Internet logon, they create an electronic portrait of themselves that
grows clearer at every step. Perhaps the only items that are still
untraceable are people's clothes, cash and day-to-day movements. But with
the introduction of Hitachi's new mu-chip, even these could become common
knowledge.

The Hitachi chip is the world's smallest wireless identification device.
It measures 0.4 millimetres square and is thin enough to be embedded in
paper. It can hold only 128 bits of read-only memory, and do little more
than spit out a unique identification number, when asked, to a distance of
about 30 centimetres. It uses the same frequency band (2.45 gigahertz) as
such longer-range wireless networking technologies as Bluetooth and
802.11b. But with the mu-chip's tiny size come some large implications.