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Hardware Technology

Microchips Now In Tombstones, Toilets, & Fish Lures 83

Hugh Pickens writes "Steve Johnson writes in the Mercury News that microchips are going into a staggering array of once decidedly low-tech items — from gravestone markers and running shoes to fish lures and writing pens. In the future, 'where won't we find chips?' asks analyst Jordan Selburn. 'The answer is pretty close to nowhere.' For example, one company sells a coin-size, stainless steel-encased microchip for gravestone markers that tells the dead person's story in text, photos, video or audio histories, which visitors can access by pointing their Internet-enabled cell phones at it. The company says it has sold thousands of 'Memory Medallions.' There's AquaOne Technologies, who sell a toilet containing chips that automatically shut off the water when it springs a leak or starts to overflow, but Japanese company Toto goes one better with an intelligent toilet that gathers health-related data from the user's urine. Pro-Troll puts a chip in its fish lures that 'duplicates the electrical nerve discharge of a wounded bait fish,' prompting other fish to bite it."
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Microchips Now In Tombstones, Toilets, & Fish Lures

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Monday December 20, 2010 @04:33PM (#34620328) Journal

    Pro-Troll puts a chip in its fish lures that 'duplicates the electrical nerve discharge of a wounded bait fish,' prompting other fish to bite it.

    Hmmm, I seem to remember hearing about this gimmick and also hearing that it varies in effectiveness with the bigger fish being a little bit more responsive (although I wish someone would bust out some statistics so I know this isn't snake oil).

    Anyway, my point is that I was unaware this used either an integrated circuit or microprocessor (which is sorta what I expect when someone says "chip"). Took a peek at the patent [] they reference on their site (which was last updated in 2007) attached to their "Echip." What you got there is closer to a mechanical device that generates an electric field via a piezoelectric crystal inside an electrically conductive sealed rigid container.

    Am I missing something? Did they update their product? And if so, what on earth do they need an integrated circuit for on something that is just a tiny voltage generator? To my knowledge, it has no power source other than the crystal inside the container. Did I miss something here or is pickens stretching to sell the Echip as more than it is? I think the marketing name took hold of the submitter and editor here ...

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @04:39PM (#34620406)

    The same technology that is used to give a decent bidet clean and check the urine for problems can be easily used as evidence for job termination, or even probable cause for search warrants should it find certain chemicals in the pee stream.

  • by knghtrider ( 685985 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @04:41PM (#34620430) Homepage

    As an avid fresh and saltwater angler, I can say right now that the 'microchip' in the lure is a long line of 'gimmicks' that will catch no more fish than any other 'gimmick' like that, such as the 'Laser Lure'. Yes, Virginia, it has a laser diode in it that lights it up when underwater; and it's even touted by professional angler Mike Iaconelli [].

    Fish respond first and foremost to the environmental conditions that induce them to feed, followed by sight, scent and vibration. There are other factors as well, such as 'matching the hatch' (meaning that your lures better be very close in color, size and shape to the forage in the area), weather, and yes even the phase of the moon to a certain degree.

    I don't know about the other items, although the memory module for the headstone doesn't seem to be a bad thing;

  • by publiclurker ( 952615 ) on Monday December 20, 2010 @04:53PM (#34620598)
    As an avid angler you should know that the only "bite" that is important to a lot of these lure manufacturers is the one where the fisherman decides to buy the ting.

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