What if…

A chip this size…

S5 chip

Went from requiring a 900MHz triangulation to being a full blown GPS?

Far fetched???

Not so much…

DARPA is trying to develop a Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems MEMS unit that will do just that in a form factor that looks something like this (but may be smaller), called C-SCAN or Chip-Scale Conbinatorial Atomic Navigator.


This is actually a working Debiotech insulin nanopump, by the way…

Translated into plain English, what C-SCAN aims to accomplish is to create a chip that performs the functions today served by orbiting GPS satellites. The chip would constantly “know” where it is in space-time, and would have this knowledge without having to ping a satellite (and maintain line-of-sight communication with a satellite) to do it.

Full article HERE.

Now the S5 chip pictured at the start is $2 today, with the logic/battery about $7 and it will last 4 years on a single battery…

GPS chips in your phones cost somewhere around $3-12 depending on accuracy…

We’re chipping pets today, what happens if these chips become reality?  Well for one, your nav will never get lost if it can’t find satellites, it would work inside buildings, underground or anywhere…


Let’s say you get lost or kidnapped, your ‘device’ could be pinged from anywhere and would give an ‘exact’ location within X feet…  Good, right???

What if you wanted to be off the grid?  Not so good…

What if these were included in clothes, or shoes, or belts, or guns???

Just asking…


What if… — 19 Comments

  1. “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”
    Cut off the kidnap’d limb.
    Only the crooks will have untraceable guns, etc.
    But a nav system independent of GPS (and it’s susceptibility to EMS pulses) sounds good.
    As long as it’s not a product of Markadabeast Inc.

  2. Interesting. What folks call GPS in their phones is actually GPS-assist, a combination of GPS, cell tower pings, and wifi signals.

    With high accuracy GPS survey equipment – now GNSS-enabled in order to use signals of other country’s GPS satellites – costing an arm, leg, and first born child, those who have invested in the technology will not be able to change for a long time. It’s so integral to our economy now that DoD is going to have to keep those satellites going even if they themselves go to another system.

  3. If you know where the chip is, a short trip through a microwave would make the device.

    I doubt that they will be in use, simply because there will be no way they can transmit on a small battery for more than a minutes. They have to transmit to be tracked.

    So far, that is….

  4. Make that “A short trip through a microwave would make the device useless”

  5. With regard to ProudHillbilly:
    “What folks call GPS in their phones is actually GPS-assist, a combination of GPS, cell tower pings, and wifi signals.”
    I have a femtocell at home to boost my spotty cell phone connection. It acts as a mini tower, and connects my phone over the internet.
    The phone “gps” routinely puts me four states away.
    It’s referencing a triangulation against something it got over my cable connection.

    • My cell phone has occasionally thought it was someplace else…

  6. What B said. Locating the chip in clothing, shoes, firearms, etc, will be key. Once it’s known, said info will be all over the ‘net.

    Then strong magnets, microwaves, whatever.

  7. That’s not so small. You should see the size of the one the CIA planted in my head. LMAO. Just kidding. Very crazy.

  8. I think every member of this Admin should be Chipped. That way, when they tell the Congress Critter at the hearings “I have no idea what was said, because I wasn’t there….”

  9. I have mixed feelings on this. I can see having tracking devices in kids 16 and under for safety’s sake. After that, I’m not so sure considering the right to privacy thing.

  10. Rev- IF and only if one pays attention…

    Fargo- Uh… Okay… 😀

    Les- LOL

    CP- There won’t BE any privacy… Just sayin…

  11. So. The C-SCAN is an inertial reference platform, for use in an GPS-denied environment, such as jamming or underwater, or when the item moves too quickly for GPS. Remember the old gyroscopic INUs, and the newer ring laser gyros? This is the replacement. A lot of items use something like this but much less accurate. Think shock and inertial motion sensors like smartphones that sense movement around three axes for games.
    Cool stuff, dunno where I learned about such things :-\
    Yet another story for another day.

  12. I was thinking more of how much fun the troopies will have once every article of impractical committee-designed equipment has its own on-board commissar squawking to Moscow Centre about being left in barracks or accidentally dropped down a storm drain.