Leaving Nothing Behind

A common RFID "chip."

A common RFID "chip."

A guy wrote to me recently asking how we can walk into a town, potentially make quite a big mess, and then leave without leaving a thing behind.  It’s a great question.  I answered with four simple letters:


Radio Frequency IDentification is a technology that uses little metallic stickers to keep track of things.  You see a watered-down version of RFID technology more commonly these days in stores as security devices, where an alarm goes off if you try to leave the store without having the sticker or tag neutralized.

Real RFID technology involves a receiver keeping track of all the RFID stickers in the area.  So, for example, you could put RFID stickers on all of your DVD or Blu-Ray discs.  When someone takes one out of your house, the receiver notices the disc is missing, and can alert you.  Likewise, when your friend returns it, the system will let you know the disc is back in your house.

We put RFID tags on all of our equipment.  In addition to the sticker-type tags, we’ve got some pretty tough plastic ones that we have sewn into our gear.  We then have receivers built into all of our trucks.  If I accidentally leave a glove somewhere, my truck lets me know that I left it behind, and keeps bugging me until I go back and get it.

Sure, it’s a smart technology, but it’s not space age by any means.  Ford announced at the beginning of last year it was going to put RFID tracking technology into its trucks, and stores across the country have been using it for years.

So no, we’re not invisible nor are we ghosts.  We’re just meticulous about staying out of the public eye, and picking up after ourselves.

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