Despite growing concerns over the security of the technology, RFID use is growing exponentially - and a new development by Fujitsu could see the chips embedded even deeper.

The new ultra high frequency RFID tags are described by the company in a CNet article as being able withstand temperatures of 121 degrees Celsius - significantly above the boiling point of water, and well above the temperature at which traditional devices will stop working. The new tag is also flexible, meaning that it will survive rough handling much better than older RFID systems - and can deform safely under pressures reaching two atmospheres.

The reason for all the robustness built in to the tag is simple: Fujitsu is hoping to see the devices used in the medical industry. While RFID tags are often used to track batches of uniforms around a garment factory, their delicacy often means that once they reach the hospital or medical equipment manufacturing plant and are washed at a high temperature - required to ensure that no nasty germs breed on the uniform's surface - the tags are rendered useless. The new robust tags should, however, withstand repeated washings - even at boiling temperatures - and allow the automatic tracking of the uniforms using an RFID reader system.

Fujitsu claims that the use of the new tags could mean that batches of 100 uniforms could be scanned simultaneously both before and after being washed at high temperature, which could result in impressive efficiency gains when it comes to ensuring that workers get their clothes back in good time.

The possibility for the technology to be used to track workers rather than just uniforms remains, of course, unsaid.

Do you believe that RFID technology is the future, or should we be more concerned at the idea of a uniquely identifiable code which can be read invisibly and silently at a distance being attached to our clothes? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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