Ever since the very first known inventory lists were pressed into clay tablets 5,300 years ago in the city of Uruk, Iraq, businesses have had a single goal. Make sure the written records of inventory are an accurate reflection of what we have in the warehouse. To this end, every company performs a regular ritual of ‘taking inventory’. This is typically done by making a physical count of every item worth tracking.

Anyone who’s been involved with the joys of inventory knows that company-wide inventory taking is a humongous time consuming, error prone, laborious and monotonous task. Even with barcodes and scanning devices, objects must usually be picked up, or at least touched in some manner. It’s the physical touching that slows down the counting process.

Counting people is a lot easier. You read off a list of names, and if they’re within hearing distance, the owners of said names respond in some manner. Or, instead of responding to a roll call they actually make the effort themselves and check-in in some manner, either by stamping a timecard or making a notation on an attendance chart. Unfortunately, books, bottles of ketchup, cans of paint and other widgets can’t do this. Or at least they couldn’t until recently.

Enter The Mu-Chip

Hitachi has come up with an electronic tag device, called a