Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Privacy

Benetton Clothing to Carry RFID Tags 472

An anonymous reader writes "Clothing manufacturer Benetton has announced that they will begin embedding RFID tags in clothing for inventory control purposes. You can read more about this at SF Gate." morcheeba adds more information: "EETimes is reporting that Benetton will be embedding a Philips RFID chip into the label of every new garment bearing the name of Benetton's core clothing brand, Sisley. The 15 million chips expected sold in 2003 will allow monitoring of garments from production to shipping, shelves and dressing rooms. The I.CODE chip (tech info) used in Benetton's labels will include 1,024 bits of EEPROM and operate at a distance of up to 1.5 meters. RFIDs look like they would be extremely uncomfortable in some Sisley clothes."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Benetton Clothing to Carry RFID Tags

Comments Filter:
  • big brother (Score:3, Funny)

    by Superfarstucker ( 621775 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @01:57AM (#5491523)
    big brother is watching you... *through* your underwear....!!!! <BR><BR>At least ill have an excuse to have big holes in my clothes now huh
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @01:57AM (#5491524)
    Assuming that you cannot locate the chip, any info on how to 'burn it out'?
    • by shepd ( 155729 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .gro.todhsals.> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:07AM (#5491580) Homepage Journal
      This [chefdepot.net] should do the trick.
    • by shadwwulf ( 145057 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:14AM (#5491611) Homepage
      A trick that the US Navy has used to for years as an electronic counter measure would work for this on a much smaller scale. The navy uses planes with high powered radio transmitters in the noses of them. They fly over and blast the target with high powered RF and fry the reciever, and pretty much everything else in it's path(light bulbs, FM radios, 2way radios, computers, etc). Well in your case you should just have to get close to a high powered transmitter such as a 1500 watt radio transmitter and put it REALLY close. It should fry out in a heart beat with the clothes none the worse for wear[pun intended].

      SW
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A slightly better question may be how do you confirm that a chip is no longer working after such a procedure?

      Can consumers buy send/receive devices to "inventory" anything they've purchased? This may well be useful to find, say, a missing slipper, shoe, sock, etc.....or setting up your own inventory system (similar to how some folks use the barcodes to inventory and greate grocery lists), along with the creation of a RFID database (similar again to the bar code ones that exist online) and third-party applications (e.g. POS systems)...as well as fully confirm that everything in your home has the RFIDs disabled. You could check to see whether that newly purchased shirt had the RFID disabled or not, disable it, check the effectiveness of anti-RFID procedures, etc.
    • by tchdab1 ( 164848 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:46AM (#5491772) Homepage
      How can i make my underwear scan like a can of ravioli?

      Can I fool scanners into thinking I'm wearing original kilobuck designer duds, or that they scan as tools from the hardware store?

      I can forsee the web sites popping up for scan code exchange, and I know there will be tons of creative hacks that I can't yet imagine.
      • The easy way would be to simply physically remove the tag, then switch it with someone else. See how the store reacts to you wearing 5 pairs of socks, or other "unusual" combinations.
    • I am prone to agree with the Microwave guy. This technique will not work on metal-studded jeans or other metal studded clothing but hey, unless you have access to a Radiology department, you aren't going to be able to get them all now are you. If you DO have a radiology department..... Have fun and remember to wear lead...

      Take the clothes, dip in water, place in microwave, nuke for 10 seconds. If you don't see a bright flash then you're OK. If you see the flash, wave bye bye to the RFID tag that isn't there any more.. :)
      if you run the microwave longer than 10 seconds, you risk the water evaporating and the clothing catching fire. The water gives the microwave something to warm up (attack with the microwave radiation.) and if the water evaporates, your clothing is next...

      And remember kids, microwaving clothes and popcorn is a good way to get that warm toasty feeling while you're watching a movie...

    • If anoyone has bothered to read the PDFs [philips.com] about these chips [philips.com] you'll see that UV and sunlight will damage the chips. Plus, it appears that they have a life cycle of 6 months. Plus I think a pair of pliers would do the job so much faster (just crush the chip). Now for the evil thought- if the chips are programmed to report if they've been bought or not, how hard would it be to reprogram all the RFID tags in a store that they've been paid for?
    • For those who read the post, Benetton is putting the RFID tags in the ordinary tags of the clothing. Remove the label from the garment, and no worries.
  • no sissy clothing... chip-containing or otherwise!
  • When do they stop? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JakiChan ( 141719 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:00AM (#5491537)
    If they want to monitor the garment in their shipping system and store that's fine, but I hope they remove the tag after purchase...otherwise they're sitting there with someone's credit card number and some sort of tracking device and that means all of a sudden someone's trip through the mall is like an episode of the Crocodile Hunter where they track the habits of some migratory animal. I'm not quite sure I trust them to not abuse this technology.
    • I hope they remove the tag after purchase...

      If you read the part where they said that returned items automatically go back into inventory, you could deduce that they are not removing the tags.
    • by Herr_Nightingale ( 556106 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @03:28AM (#5491924) Homepage
      Eh. I just hope that the video stores around here catch on with this RFID tagging... Have you ever phoned to reserve a movie, been told it's there, and spent an hour trying to locate the damned thing in a store with 10 thousand movies?
      I see this as a major convenience.
    • Refunds? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ukryule ( 186826 ) <slashdot&yule,org> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @03:53AM (#5492004) Homepage
      The whole reason they're doing this is to track the clothes through their inventory system. However, they'll probably want to be able to identify refunds too: if it's simple for them to track which batches of clothes have a higher return rate (due to defects), then it'll help their quality control.

      The flip side of this is that it'll probably annoy the hell out of them when the clothes you're wearing while trying to buy a new item start registering at the checkout :)
    • ...all of a sudden someone's trip through the mall is like an episode of the Crocodile Hunter where they track the habits of some migratory animal.

      Just what I need, another thing to worry about. Not only must I tape my windows to keep out nerve gas and wear a tinfoil hat to stop mind probes, but I'll have to devise some method to prevent my being shot in the ass with a tranquilizer dart and relocated to a remote swamp.


  • Salesperson: "Ma'am, please remove any stolen merchandise."

    Woman: "But... [benetton.com]"
  • EMP, folks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by namespan ( 225296 ) <namespan@@@elitemail...org> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:01AM (#5491548) Journal
    Now's your chance to make money. Make a handheld, heck, set up a kiosk in the mall.

    Or perhaps the manufacturers will decide to do this at the checkout counter.
    • by catch23 ( 97972 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:24AM (#5491658)
      If you guys really hate Benetton, you could get a handheld emp gun and zap their entire store rendering all their rfid tags useless. If enough people did it, they would probably stop doing using it. Alternatively, the easy solution would probably to just get a microwave oven and leave the door open during operation.... although that might get you into some trouble.

      Salesperson: "What are you doing with the microwave?"

      Joe Freak: "I'm just warming up my lunch"

      Salesperson: "In the underwear section?"
  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr_Tulip ( 639140 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:02AM (#5491551) Homepage
    Will this help me find matching socks?
  • by MegaHamsterX ( 635632 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:04AM (#5491560)
    Cool they're using an EEPROM, that presents some interesting possibilities, although lugging a laptop into a department store to give yourself a price markdown might be a little obvious.
  • by wirefarm ( 18470 ) <jim.mmdc@net> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:04AM (#5491565) Homepage

    IMHO, their ability to track their clothing stops when I pay money and take ownership of it.
    I doubt they'll remove all the tags. I doubt consumers will know to.
    I already found a sweater of my girlfriend's with one. She had asked me to snip off a scratchy tag and lo and behold, sewn inside the tag was an RFID tag. (Ann Taylor sweater? Not sure, so I won't say for sure.) Either way, if she wore it back to the store, would she show up as a repeat customer and be treated differently?

    I just don't trust these things, even though I know they are pretty benign, so don't try to convince me otherwise.

    Cheers,
    Jim, the stubborn Luddite

    • What happens to an RFID tag if you put it in a microwave on high power for 30 seconds? Should we make it a regular practice to nuke any new piece of clothing we buy nowadays? Just watch out for zippers...
    • by catch23 ( 97972 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:12AM (#5491604)
      oh please. I doubt Benetton is going to be expecting these rfid tags to still work after people buy their clothing. Stuff like static electricity in hot dryers and just general wear and tear is going to wear them out. And when all else fails, there is the microwave oven.

      I'm betting they are going to destroy the tag the minute you checkout so it won't beep when you walk out the store. They'll probably use the rfid tags as a new way to put security tags on the clothing instead of those heavy dongles you see sometimes on expensive clothing.

      When the whole processor id thing was introduced way back when, people threw a big fit about it. Now what average Joe these days even know about it? Believe me, if big brother wants to track you down, they're gonna track you down and it won't be using unreliable stuff like rfid tags.
      • the heavy dongles aren't for tracking, they are theft deterrants. (they are USUALLY dye packs, but I know of at least one store that uses blanks, not known if they have any real dye packs)
        • Yeah, agreed. Though sometimes I see them put on underwear at stores like BR. Would people really care about ink stains on underwear? How many people do you know that prance around in their underwear all the time? I think most of the time it's just a theft deterrent. But I think using rfid tags as a secret theft deterrent is better... thieves might actually try to sneak a few undies in their coat pocket thinking they have no security identifier on them. It's an easy way to catch more crooks.
      • When the whole processor id thing was introduced way back when, people threw a big fit about it. Now what average Joe these days even know about it?

        That's because the stopped doing it. Motherboard manufacturers even started shipping boards where the default setting was to disable the # in case your chip did have it. Since it's stopped, it's not a very big issue anymore.
      • I'm betting they are going to destroy the tag the minute you checkout so it won't beep when you walk out the store. They'll probably use the rfid tags as a new way to put security tags on the clothing instead of those heavy dongles you see sometimes on expensive clothing.

        If the tags have memory, wouldn't it be possible to have a bought-bit? By setting that you won't beep and they can still track you.

        If you ask me it should be mandatory to remove the tags upon purchasing the product. The abuse risk is just too great.

        Just my two cents anyway.
    • by ukryule ( 186826 ) <slashdot&yule,org> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @05:49AM (#5492311) Homepage
      I'm bemused. This is slashdot talking about a new piece of technology - and yet I've not found a single post talking about installing Linux on it, seting up the first 'underwear web server', or connecting up a 120GB hard disk to it.

      And of course, the very real possibility of having your own personal beowolf cluster of clothes...
  • by No. 24601 ( 657888 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:05AM (#5491570)
    That's a beautiful top you got on. What are you clocking in at girl? ooOoOOo honey, i tell you.. with the heat you generating, you must be running at 10 TeraHertz, and ooh baby does it hurtz like hell."
  • Hah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BJH ( 11355 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:06AM (#5491574)

    Ottenberg said such tags could be used for "customer loyalty" rewards that could earn consumers such benefits as frequent flyer miles, free music downloads or discount coupons.

    Why, while I read this, did the phrase "bread and circuses, bread and circuses..." keep on looping through my brain?

    Ah well, I suppose a majority of people will be quite happy to give away their right to privacy in return for some extra frequent-flyer miles, dragging the rest of us along by default.

    How much longer before they start introducing niggling little irritations if you buy with cash, and/or larger incentives if you buy with a credit card?
    • Re:Hah! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Evil Adrian ( 253301 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:35AM (#5491712) Homepage
      How much longer before they start introducing niggling little irritations if you buy with cash, and/or larger incentives if you buy with a credit card?

      When credit card companies stop charging merchants for credit card transactions.
    • I suppose a majority of people will be quite happy to give away their right to privacy...

      Their what to what? Where do you live, friend, that you are guaranteed privacy? I know of a few places in the world where you are guaranteed to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures performed by the government, but that's as far as it goes.

      Every time somebody says the phrase "right to privacy" in a sentence that doesn't begin with "I wish I had a," they lose credibility. There is no right to privacy. You could say that you want privacy, or that you demand privacy, or that you refuse to associate yourself with anyone that doesn't respect your privacy, but to say that you have a right to privacy is simply untrue.
  • by ericski ( 20503 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:07AM (#5491579)
    So now will we'll be able to tell if she's wearing the "I'm getting lucky tonight" panties or the "He's not worth more than dinner" panties. Might help us decide how much to spend on the date.

    Who am I kidding, we'd just be happy to be on a date with.
  • I've got a pair of jeans bought from Club Monaco here in Canada about a year ago. Just recently I found one of those anti-theft devices sewn into the seam of one of the legs. Yeah, I know anti-theft devices are everywhere (in books, DVDs, CDs), but this is the first time I've seen them used this way in clothing. Usually, they are removable and taken out after purchase, but this one was sewn in there and kept in even after being disabled. Now, if I were paranoid, I might be more frightened by this finding...
  • Will they use Death Row inmates to model the new clothing?
  • Due here. [slashdot.org] Word for word rip, no less. Unless it was actually him, in which case, sorry for giving you the spotlight.
  • after reading this article, i have a strong urge to go and buy myself "the catcher in the rye". add it my evergrowing collection :)
  • wasted effort (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nihilanth ( 470467 ) <`moc.loa' `ta' `2evawsoahc'> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @02:48AM (#5491779)
    ::sigh:: this really isn't a privacy issue...no matter how fun it is to make it into one.

    you ever worked retail? you evern have to do inventory yourself, instead of having the luxury of a contractor doing it for you? it kinda sucks. becing able to query a transmitter for physical inventory counts is a lot cooler that couting everything by hand/scanner. Since these tags can't be read more than 15 feet or so away, and can be fried by exposure to your microwave oven, i'd say just don't sweat it

    this is just a corp. cost saving tool, to decrease overhead and save the time and money of drudge-like inventory procedures..

    i'm the biggest conspiracy freak when it comes to orwellian surveillance schemes, but this technology just isn't headed in that direction.

    there are much bigger fish for us to fry, if you look around and take notice of them.
    • Re:wasted effort (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bartmoss ( 16109 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @03:49AM (#5491994) Homepage Journal
      It may be intended for just inventory purposes - but unless the rfid tags are disabled or removed on sale, it IS possible to abuse the benign benefit of inventory control to track a person's movement in close quarters (say... embed sensors in the floor of an airport).

      By the way, since rfids respond to a frequency range, is there such a thing as an rfid scanner available that will just try out the entire spectrum and look for hits? (kind of like a port scanner I figure).

  • by Nathdot ( 465087 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @03:03AM (#5491827)
    Winona Ryder has announced her own label, making its debut with a range of chic aluminum handbags.
  • i wonder what the tracking range is on those babies?
  • Already in use... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DCowern ( 182668 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @03:07AM (#5491843) Homepage

    I'm surprised that no one's mentioned this... this is already in use in the US. The last time I bought clothes, I noticed an "extra" tag on the inside of the garment. It was rectangular, maybe 2 inches long by about half an inch wide. It felt like it contained something hard and had a dotted line near the seam with the clothing. To me, that meant "cut me off". I did and out popped a RFID tag. It looked very similar to the ones that are in some of my work's IBM desktops (for inventory/tracking).

    Removal was simple enough... much easier than getting those $*#() ink tags off when the person behind the desk forgets to. In short, not a bid deal.

    On a side note, as long as the tag is removable, why do we care about it? It makes the cost of doing business cheaper for the store. They have the advantage of hiring0 fewer people to do inventories and doing more efficient inventory. In theory, this should lead to less costly clothes and manufacturer and retailer costs go down. On the flip side, it'll mean fewer "end of season" sales but it should all average out. RFID in this case seems like it's a Good Thing.

  • Granted, this doesn't really feel like an invasion of privacy issue thing to me, just keeping track of inventory. But it's amazing what people will agree to volentarily.

    Combine this with Radio Shacks old practice of asking for customer information when you buy something. Now combine this with the kind of computerized advertizing you saw in Minority Report.

    "Hello, [Mr. Smith], how is that [Polo Shirt] you bought? We have a sale on [Polo Shirts] this week on the [third] floor."

    I think that would be kind of neat... but then I'm trying to convince myself I already live in the future... :)
  • by _Spirit ( 23983 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @03:58AM (#5492018) Journal
    I want to install this into my home, no more "This bag ? Oh that's just groceries honey" from my wife. Maybe I can keep inventory for her as well, so I can bring my PDA with her closet inventory with me when we go shopping: "See darling, you already have fourteen of those, now let's go buy some books"
  • by LiquidEric ( 658463 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:11AM (#5492043)
    This company had an add campaign several years ago which featured death row murders as the spokesmen. This is brutally insensitive to the families of those they murdered. This was a shameless attempt to generate publicity. As a result of their campaign their largest retailer, Sears, dropped Benetton's products (which is commendable). We should all do the same.
    • This company had an add campaign several years ago which featured death row murders as the spokesmen.

      Benetton never has spokespersons. No one in Benetton's ads ever speak, or are ever attributed with speech. You just read "United Colors of Benetton".

      This is brutally insensitive to the families of those they murdered. This was a shameless attempt to generate publicity.

      Benetton has always been a socially conscious clothing company. The Benetton family are very active in social causes ranging from lobbying to stop war to AIDS research funding. There are a large group of people that believe murder is immoral period. Whether it is government sanctioned (such as the death penalty) or not. Benetton has also never featured its own clothing in any of its ads.

      As a result of their campaign their largest retailer, Sears, dropped Benetton's products (which is commendable). We should all do the same.

      Sears was not their largest retailer. Outside of Sears Benetton has never sold their clothes anywhere other then Benetton boutiques and their catalog. The line of Benetton in Sears was a unique line (and subquality in many people's opinion) created specifically for Sears. Sears failed to market this well and therefore Benetton would not agree to making a second line.

      Like most Americans you view the USA as the world. Benetton has always been wildly successful in Europe, after all, it is an Italian brand, just like Diesel. If everyone in America stopped buying Benetton it would make very little difference as this is one of their smallest audiences.

  • by rpiquepa ( 644694 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:24AM (#5492075) Homepage
    For more information about radio-frequency identification tags, or RFIDs, you can check these two columns, "Bye-Bye Bar Codes? [weblogs.com]" and "The Eerie Possibilities of RFID Tags [weblogs.com]". The first one contains illustrations about how RFID tags are tested at McDonalds or Prada.
  • by kinnell ( 607819 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @05:53AM (#5492322)

    If these chips contain EEPROM, they can be hacked right? You could:


    1. Confuse the checkout by having a porsche 911 in your shopping trolley.
    2. Make your pants look like a rocket launcher to freak out the secret police.
    3. Remotely reprogram other people's pants to look like yours, hence stealing there frequent flyer/loyalty points.

  • by corvi42 ( 235814 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @10:35AM (#5493440) Homepage Journal
    You just go into the dressing room with 3 things, cut the tag off with scissors, then walk out with 2 items, and leave the store unnoticed with the third.
  • by Fear the Clam ( 230933 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @12:47PM (#5494662)
    Background: Once upon a time there was a brand of clothes for kids called "Garanimal." There was nothing special about the clothes except that they had tags featuring different animals inside. The ideas was that if you matched a monkey-tagged-shirt with monkey-tagged pants, you'd know that they went together and you were fit to be seen in public.

    Obviously, knowing what clothes go together is a useful skill, and the potential for a geekware line of clothes featuring O'Reilly animals would be cool (I'd feel right sexy in vi-guy underwear).

    But why settle for an obvious (and potentially embarasing) visible tag when you can have a hidden, electronic tag that does the same thing and requires a (hackable) computing device?

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

Working...