Intel Developing RFID Tracking And ‘Kill Switch’ Technology For Laptops

Dirty rotten laptop thieves may want to consider another way to make a quick buck, as there are forces in play that will hopefully render this business model obsolete. Intel has teamed up with Impinj, Technology Solutions UK Ltd. (TSL), and Burnside Digital to create an RFID solution called Wireless Credential Exchange (WCE) to track lost and stolen laptops.

Intel's System-on-Chip (SoC) is a crucial component of the RFID system. The key is that it can read and write data to the Monza RFID chip that will be embedded into Intel SoC-powered devices. The chip can also be read and written to using an external TSL RFID reader, even when the system is powered down.

Intel Tracking

Unique IDs, error logs, permissions, device configuration, and virtually any other type of data can be written to the Monza chip and then read back to the Intel processor when the lost or stolen device is powered on. Where Burnside Digital comes into play is that it created custom applications for Windows, iOS, and Android that can communicate with a TSL reader via Bluetooth or with an AWS cloud-based database.

RFID is commonly used for inventory tracking, though in this instance, one unique feature is that it can disable a device prior to shipping and reactivate it only when it reaches its intended destination. The device would be useless if it turned up lost or stolen along the way. It could also be programmed to only work in approved locations.