Now your steak comes with a tattoo of the naked woman silhouette and the Grim Reaper

Somark Innovations, a small firm based out of St. Loius, successfully tested a new system of cattle branding using radio frequency identification, or RFID.  The company already tested this new method on cows, cats and rats and are able to identify an animal from almost 4 feet away. 

This "tattoo" uses a special RFID ink that can be invisible or colored. The "tattoo" is injected by a set of needles in a dot shape patterns which change with each injection.  The tags can be read through fur and hair and have been biocompatibly tested so even humans can ingest the ink. 

According to Somark, the initial use of the technology is to track cattle to "mitigate export trade loss scares from Mad Cow Disease". With this being their primary target, their secondary market includes pets, prime cuts of meat, and possibly military soldiers. 

Ramos Mays, Chief Scientist on the project, says he is excited with the produced results. “This is a true proof-of-principle and mitigates most of the technological risk. This proves the ability to create a synthetic biometric or fake fingerprint with Biocompatible Chipless RFID Ink and read it through hair.”

The development of the new RFID "tattoo" sprouted from a need for a cheap way to ID cattle.  Tags that are clipped to cattle ears are expensive and can be torn out.  Chip implants are expensive and relatively large in size (12mm x 12mm), but also have a very restricted range.

Though this technology is good for animals and, as scary as it is, humans, consumer products will still make use of the chip format.  Products that already use RFID include passports and package wrap.

The company is setting up an advisory board which includes scientists, engineers and executives in the agricultural industry.  With the installation of an advisory board, along with animal testing, the company now feels it has gained validation for its technology.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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