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The Million Dollar Idea – possibly :D

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I’ve had an idea that could be, perhaps, with luck, if I’m not mistaken, if the Gods allow it (OK, you got the idea ?), a very good business idea. A product everyone would be so fucking glad to buy, and buy again. A product that doesn’t exist yet. I don’t have the talent, the knoweledge, the money and the relations to do it myself, but who knows, if YOU can make use of my idea (“wtf it worked ??” I’ll ask ^^) to earn a fortune, think of good Oliver from x years ago, and send me a big cheque, hmm ? ;) The idea follows :

Here’s the idea : a bag of ready-to-stick RFID chips and a detector activating itself with a “beep” when it is in a one-meter range from one of these chips. We could stick these chips on any precious item of ours that we can’t afford to lose. For instance ? My digital camera. My wife’s discharged cellphone. My spare car keys >_< All these bloody small things of high importance that are too easy to lose at one’s home or work, that we know to be somewhere close, even if they still manage to sometime escape our furious investigations for months, aaaaaaaargh!! >_<

A device to help us find these goddamn fucken lost items would be a gift from the heavens, I’d be ready to purchase it no matter what price it is, and I’m sure I’m not the only one in that case.

Various improvements can make it better : each bag of “‘stickers” has his own frequency associated to the detector sold with it (so that you don’t detect the stuff belonging to your neighours living just next apartment from you), color choice to make the sticker even more discreet, shorter or wider range, etc…

Short edit, a precision : the whole interest of RFID tags is their relatively limited range (can be 30 centimeters to 1 meters in most cases) and the fact a battery is NOT needed, the detector’s signal being transformed in electricity inside the RFID chip when it receives it. This makes it an effective short-range detector with a potentially unlimited lifespan.

OK, that was the idea. I guess I’ll get replies like “it’s technically impossible you didn’t understand RFID you idiot”, but, well, who knows ! :D
At least, I posted the idea.
Now, anyone knows where is my digital camera, or my wife’s phone, in the short term ? v_v

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34 Comments on "The Million Dollar Idea – possibly :D"

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Cyclone Duke

Wow, that’d be awesome! Maybe with some adjustable ranges on when they’d beep and if they weren’t too big, I’d definately get some!

Patent it! Get one made and then go on dragon’s den or something and get an investor to give you seed money!
Something like this could mean big money for you Oliver!


Hmmmm it my not be a bad idea at all, but there are some inconvenients.
With this kind of goods (Which remind me all the As Seen on TV products) you really need a huge investment on advertisements, infomertials and such. Finding a good investor is hard, and even harder when the product isn´t fully developed. Now, the good part is that the product itself is not expensive, and even less complicated to make. The key in this kind of process is to make an investor feel safe and comfortable, and it requires a LOT of time. So, a second key would be a full time salesman with a lot of charisma who knows what he/she is doing when offering the pruduct. My recommendation? If a reader who is in need of money reads this, Hey! Organize yourself, ask some friends who can help with it, and start asking here and there. Big fortunes have begun with small ideas as this one. Hell, even I could give it a shot, but it would take some time.
Good idea Oliver!

James Black

Wouldnt it need like power to be able to send a signal that a scanner would be able to pick up or am i thinking to simple? Although perhaps certain chemicals can make some sort of marker although i have no idea if its do-able. (I think i saw this Stargate O.o)

Still the idea itself is awesome, everyone loses crap (especially keys somehow) so if it worked i would sure buy a bag or 2

James Black

Oh the plausible problem with this would be that ANYONE with a scanner could find your stuff! It would be awesome to have a scanner pick up lost stuff on the streets or the beach lol you would be like those people with metal-detector only better!

Sorry about the double post this just popped in right after posting.

– James Black

24/7 Otaku

This reminds me of the electronic keyrings that used to beep repeatedly in response to you whistleing nearby, that was popular in the 80’s (yes im showing my age here!) to help you find your lost or misplaced keys. This seems to be a more up to date idea along the similar way of thinking, and so is likely to sell well at the very least as the electronic keyring did – its genius!

A Friend of mine patented an idea to have a different colour of rubber showing on car tyres at the point they become illegal because their tread is too shallow (for example red, with a few milimetres of yellow over it, and standard black over the top) so you can tell by looking if you need to replace them, without having to know the legal depth or use a tool to measure it. The black would wear away with use and reveal the yellow then the red sections when you need to replace!


Je ne pense pas que ça soit impossible ni que ça n’existe pas déjà mais quand tu verras le prix que ça coûtera pour créer une tel machine je pense que tu abandonneras cette idée. ^_^’
Ce n’est pas fait pour les particuliers et vu la taille des maisons de tailles moyennes actuelles, il faudrait une liaison sans fil qui risque de t’irradier et te donner des problèmes de santés.
ça serait techniquement difficile d’offrir une telle machine à un particulier à un prix raisonnable pour une utilité dont pas grand monde investirait l’argent nécessaire.

Mais bon rêvons que je puisse retrouver ma game gear moi aussi. :D


Sounds like a GREAT idea! Heaven knows how many times I’d have wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything important by mistake.

I’ve worked with RFID devices before, and and in my experience, you have to keep on continually checking for the existence of the set of “tags” within the field. I don’t know how much of a power drain it might be for a mobile (unplugged) device that you carry around, especially one that has around a couple of meters worth of proximity range.

There are other logistical issues, like how to introduce new tags and how to release tags when you want to say leave a tag at home, but that’s just a matter of introducing a display on the device.

But hey, Oliver, it’s your idea. You deserve to be the one to profit from it. :)

Jon Smyth

The Sharper Image sold a system like what you are describing several years ago but the receicers were stck-on watch battery powered item that could also be put on key rings and were activated by a seperate master unit that had different freq/color keyed buttons that activated the relavent item. The signal was good for about two floors or 100 feet outside. The problem was poor battery life and resulted in incresingly shorter ranges. I am sure that RFID was not used in the devices but the patent may overlap. Sorry



I had somewhat the same idea for cordless phones and remote controls, but instead of RFID, just push a button on the base device (TV/VCR/base of the phone) and the remote control or whatnot would beep or emit a light or something….

yeah, three kids in the house and you’re bound to lose the remote for days…


Cory Doctrow described it in his novel Themepunks but he’s very open to allowing people to use his ideas.


There’s one problem with this idea: you won’t be using the scanner often (hopefully) so if you lose that, you can’t scan anything (maybe get another pack to find your original scanner?!)


You the the funny thing about this, if this actually gets around and about, people are gonna ask where did you get this idea from.

Nine out of ten, nobody is gonna say, from a hentai site. HAHAHAHA

Jokes aside, this is pure brilliance! I’ll buy that, I’ll buy it by the bus loads.


ive already seen an item exactly like u have described there not popular i got them some where in my house funny i cant find them


Novel idea…
If said RFID could be made UNIQUE (as with the doggie’s collar GPS or RFID chips) for as many items/appliances/property, impossible to duplicate & as tiny as possible to fit all prior mentioned things then it would be practical as well as sellable.

But let’s think in an economical & practical way here: How much would it cost the owner of X items to have custom made RFID chips for those X items? (They HAVE to be custom made for an specific owner, lest you risk others purchase a similar item & reverse engineering it to steal from you, locate you or your house. If they can hack products from big shots like Sony…)

Sorry to sound pesimistic, but the only customers any would have of such an item are the physically/mentally challenged people.

Why pay for an item locator when you can actually learn to place your things where they belong for free? Nothing brings these kinds of thoughts out more than exceedingly dedicated commodities.


they already have something along the lines of that for keys I had one that would whistle when i pressed a button on the second half of the device, but using RFID’s sounds even better


really good idea only one prob….ppl might use it for another thing


I’ve worked on RFID before- actually was doing a business deal with my friend- we talked to a patent lawyer he knew- and the industry is notoriously brutal against newcomers- the reason is primarily that a lot of the big companies already own patents on virtually everything to do with RFID- if you want to patent something at this point you’ll have to hire a patent lawyer to scour the archives to see if your idea is taken yet- and it will cost somewhere of $2-3K if not more. Then there’s the creation of an actual prototype- which will probably require you to hire an engineer, and then you can pitch to bigger companies to see if any of them will buy it, or just produce your own and hope bigger companies don’t take your idea and use their money to run with it.

I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but you will need startup costs, that’s all I’m saying.

Kusari Mitsukai

I think something like that has already been invented, at least here in the U.S….


These are very similar to your idea, and could probably be made to do exactly what your idea was.


Good idea, but first, if everyone s using these, they end up on everything. I.e., your things gonna go off every step you take down a busy street. Plus, can you even turn the thing off? Or does it non stop beep within a meter of your tagged items? And what if you lose the ‘beeper’ itself? defeats the whole purpose.

Biggest issue tho is probably legal. In essence its tagging, so if some creepo-loser was to beef up one of these chips and make it work at a larger range, he can now stalk someone.

Great concept, just needs fine tuning. But that comes with time, investment, patenting, and boredom.



To start with it is a very interesting concept. I have seen a similar type of product before that is used in search and rescue operation to find avalanche survivors.

Basicly the tracking tag is a small plastic tag that has a RFID chip inside of it that is embeded into specific articles of clothing that a person would be wearing in such instances, such as winter coats and snow boots. The tags themselves do not produce their own power or have an internal power source. The scanner used to find the tags send out a carrier wave that gives the charges the tags and start to broadcast a signal. The scanning range was only said to be able to be picked up from 5 meters away in worst cases and 10 meters away on the average. These results are from using a standarized (tags are only an inch) and similar scanning devices of power output.


it is technically possible. making a circuit/device that is small enough is your first problem, secondly your power source. another problem arises when you mass produce this device you would troubled because of the limited amount of frequency range that the device limiting the items you would be able “tag” and lastly what if a thief armed with a “tracker” enters your home, with his “tracker” he would be able to find your precious item(jewelry,phones) without even breaking-up a sweat.




lol. i've already had that idea back when i was a kid haha. but its not next to impossible. its possible w/ the technology right now


Hate to burst your bubble Oliver, but something like this already exists. It consists of a hand-held remote unit and an assortment of ‘tags’ that you attach to items you don’t want to lose. Each tag has it’s own frequency that it responds to, and the remote device has buttons that correspond to each different tag; you simply label each button with whatever it is attached to and when you can’t find the item in question, you simply push the button for its tag and the tag lets out a high decibel shriek that could wake the dead. The tags are powered by those tiny little annoying as fuck and absurdly expensive watch and hearing aid batteries, while the remote runs on larger more conventional cells like AA’s or AAA’s. I can’t remember for the life of me what it’s called, or who makes it but I know it exists and it’s actually surprisingly affordable, costing only about $50-65 for a unit equipped with five tags, and I believe they also made a $80-90 unit equipped with ten tags.


Intersting, hell I like the idea but, like you, I have no talent to make or anyone to suggest it to.
Oh well, a man can dream right?


Great idea, too bad its already patented in the united states


did you look under the couch?


well your idea is not far off just read in popular science that they invented an ink that can be printed in any printer that prints conductive paint on it this means you can print it directly onto your items making them a rfid tag themselfs


Wikipedia is your friend.

I suggest people at least scan both articles so they can give more grounded suggestions with regards to Oliver’s practical idea.

It’s a big world so even when we form unique ideas, and we realize that an implementation does not yet exist commercially, it might be that somewhere, a company is already on the verge of finishing the development of such a product.

P.S. Thanks for all the interesting and entertaining H.


I’m not too sure if the “different frequencies for each bag” thing would work. I’m just guessing here, but isn’t there a radio frequency standard for every radio controlled product? I mean radios use FM and AM frequencies while RC cars use the 48-72 kHz frequency (I think). Instead of the simple powerless RFID, the alternatively powered tags can hold more information. Why not use those tags since then they can hold info such as what the item is or a serial code to tell the reader what is, and what is not the user’s items.


Suddenly you lose your lost item detector.