Inside the RFID Stickers from a Chinese Cashier-less Store


I hate durian so much, I don’t know why I did this. I’m here in Yiwu today with “??” who’s behind the camera right now. We’re checking out some cool markets and we’ve stumbled across a Tutumarket which apparently is an employee-less convenience store a la what Amazon is doing in the US but judging how faded this sign is, I think this might predate the Amazon shops. So, I wanted to give it to try. I think…let’s see, “Please open the door of the QR code.” I think we have to scan this QR code to open the door. Can I borrow your phone? Mine is out of batteries. OK. So lets see Scan the QR code That’s awesome, and it talks! Okay, so Now, oh wow. Okay, so everything’s got what looks like RFID stickers on them And so I guess we just choose what we want Oh, you can buy a Budweiser in here. No age restrictions in China. Actually, I kind of think it’s beer o’clock. You want a beer? Yeah, let’s do it. All right. Okay. I was gonna be like “Yeah, can you give me one?” Yeah So we’ll get two Budweisers, did you want anything else, you wanted some water? A water, for sure, yeah. Looks like there’s an RFID reader here. So we put this stuff here. Oh, shit! Okay. So it’s putting each of these things as I set it down. We have to scan it? Yeah, so I’ll scan it with my wallet So yeah. Scan… And then buy? Yep. Let me input password, okay? Yeah End Screen now I’m sure that’s saying “thank you for your purchase”. So yeah, I mean you could sell anything in here, anything you can put a sticker on. So now… Let’s see. We go out to the door. Can we get out now? Oh, it automatically opened! That’s amazing. That’s awesome. So okay, I want to see what’s inside these stickers because these look pretty cool. So Wow look at these. Okay. So this looks like it’s printed straight on to the sticker and Then maybe just has like a little RFID chip Right in the middle there. I’m gonna put these in my wallet take them back to Shenzhen I want to look at this under the microscope and see what’s really going on here from like a an IC
perspective because this is tiny These must be really cheap to make Because these are very different from like the RFID tag to would see in like smart cards for opening doors and that kind of thing This is really cool I’m now back in my apartment in Shenzhen and I brought with me a few tags and I I thought we would take them apart And see how they work. Here’s the tag I’m just gonna peel this open Wow Okay That is the tag right there. So this is super interesting this of course is an RFID tag and RFID needs an antenna. So that basic idea is that you have a chip that is powered by The electricity that it gets from radio waves So it has an antenna that collects electricity it powers the chip and then the chip Modifies sends out its own radio waves with the energy it’s gathered from the antenna on the antenna. It’s magic but Usually RFID tags have actual copper coil wires and this one appears to be printed with some sort of like silver paint on the actual sticker but in the middle here is a little black dot and I think that that is the actual so I want to look at this under the microscope this little Dot right here that that I think is the chip. They don’t know if it’s very easy to show how big it is It’s quite small. These tweezers are pretty thin and you can see how big they are next to it. Okay, so there’s something underneath they’re Trying to cut out that thing so it’s a little wafer of silicon Here the basic deal is that this is a bare wafer so it is a bare piece of silicon that has two copper pads on it and then it looks like Here, it looks like some sort of metallic paint and that just is painted on top and touches the the copper pads here and here And that makes up the antenna and that’s an entire functioning circuit, which is incredible. I Don’t really know what to do next. I’d love to be able to read it And figure out how to talk to it. I Don’t have a reader. Uh You know what? I have a friend Who or two friends who are doing stuff with NFC and I think maybe they have some gear Well, I have gear for NFC obviously, but I think they also have some RFID gear so let me let me talk to them on WeChat and see maybe I can go over to their office and we Take a look at this. All right, I got ahold of Stuart and he said yes, they have the kind of gear They think I need to be able to figure out what this chip is and be able to read it and I can come by Their office tomorrow. Well, I’m headed out to my friend Stuart’s office and Unfortunately, it’s rush hour. So it’s it’s clear right now, but we’ll see how it goes Stuart is a Fellow logistics guy, I guess operations guy. He deals with a lot of factories around an NFC product They have a lot of test gear for NFC but they also have some stuff that should work with RFID so hopefully using their test gear in their lap, we can figure out what the heck these tags are and maybe even what chips inside Alright I finally made it out here traffic wasn’t too bad But I just got a wee chat message from Stuart saying pick up some assorted ice-cream surprise us He doesn’t know what he’s in for yeah We were here the other day and there were some very surprising Options and it’s blueberry and chocolate that actually be good. The last time I was out here there was like pee flavored and Gosh, all sorts of stuff. That’s what I was looking for. Durian. He’s aren’t red He said this and then Laurie’s gonna regret it even more Chocolate matcha, that looks pretty good get one that looks like a pineapple Okay, yeah ice cream acquired time for some surprises Surprise you that’s what you meant, right? That didn’t last very long I I mean I did by four because I knew no one would eat that one But I didn’t think it was immediately That is what you meant to me to do, right? Yeah It’s really really bad try it I Eat durian so much. I don’t know why I did this Larry you want some? That’s bad I’ll do at least to be done To my defense I did get the rest of what I got I think we’ll be good. I fully expect that. It’s gonna look exactly Oh Oh, oh, I see protective. Oh, that’s pretty good. Yeah, we need our ice cream and then dig into some electronics here This is the putco tags that strip off the balls. I have taken these are the two I’m not taken apart. And these are the two that I have taken apart. Okay? That is the chip So that’s the I see and then you looked at what the I see is have you got any Info only I see no no info. Okay, so we could try and read it. But first if we put it on the Tack tester. We can see that the resonant frequency of the antenna and We can read it. That sounds like a good starting point. Ok cool today Ok two resonant frequency like So it’s not NFC that’s really quite weak. Yeah They weren’t on the reader The reader was like big weight and like a big area and you could just stick stuff down and easily hanging up like vertical Off of it. Yeah, it might be that the reader was giving out quite a lot yeah, I love how it’s like the only thing I like a Like a fairly quick transaction. Yeah, I believe that and a night reliable read as well. Yes. Wondering if you combine many thanks to Actually, I have one my pack ok yesterday you can see yes that’s standard NFC and it’s actually cheaper height Nothing It was showing on here and then now it’s not here’s an example of a card I’ve taken apart in the past some other construction. It’s that printed on Yeah, but look how different is to like there’s a the could maker for the antenna is completely different this one are interesting because This one’s out of a credit card. Yep, that’s out of a credit card and it’s kind of interesting because the IC Actually doesn’t get bonded to the antenna on this the IC you get a nice ian like a carrier package Yeah, you don’t you just have to place it next to each other. So it’s super short range So that’s some of a lozenge from a Schengen Tom Oh, which is the the subway card here engine. Yeah So yeah, that’s got a packaged. I see ya there. Yeah, and it looks like it’s probably got cat under that blob. Yep And that should still work on the metro. Yeah, if I wanted to Make your own. Yeah yeah, it’s one that of a Paper tag paper train ticket, I’m Jen Jen. Yeah, so this is kind of something Huh like that I like how do you have salvaged all of the various NFC things from China? Well, there’s like daily life in China. Every time I get something that’s new You know like to check it out right like because these are disposable tickets. Yeah, so they have two each in now Yeah, super cheap, right? Yeah, how is it? Yeah, how what’s the antenna construction? Oh
well that that’s why I thought these were so interesting right because Like the margin on selling a bottle of water is not super high, right? So if you’re you can’t be spending much per bottle of water for it to make sense. Yeah Yeah, yeah Have you looked up this no one six seven is it over, you know, I haven’t I thought I looked this up but And here we go. I know sales if ID module or FCC test report Okay, that’s good surrounded by cute isn’t a small Well, you know Did you tie the test report your sales terminal Point of sale terminal sounds wrong thing. Yeah, that does sound good. Actually. What did you just find? Look at this? I just found impinge Are six asset tracking tag logistic system labeled CTU Matt. Sure, what’s good to me? I’ve that working for you create 60 megahertz Okay way the hell out of for the range that we were looking yeah, yeah, okay. Yeah, that’s probably why yeah Could we buy one we could pop into some temples. Oh We’ve got some clothes Bras summer Fanny men’s underwear This is the danger of Taobao is that you go in looking for one thing for work and then all of a sudden you’re looking at boxers or rods? There they have crowns on them here. So 862 960 megahertz so that thing was total BS before the 8 megahertz Yeah, read distance 1 meter it also made sense that maybe they had a reader in the doorway that could read like the wall or something was reading and And that was doing like like loss prevention make it like preventing theft And that’s why the antenna design was actually different. I feel pretty confident. We found the tag I think that the only remaining question is like can we actually read the data on it? Can we buy some of these chips? I just really want to know what the price like what it what is the But also, maybe we can make our own Just get some aluminum foil. And yeah, so an exacto knife and a tag reader not complicated Speak to the dist speak to the guy that design manager speak to the person that design the antenna Well, I’m sure it was hard to do the first time but I had an out myself. I Think you should try. Yeah, so here we go. Okay. Oh These are cheap six cents. So they’re not super super cheap. I think that you should try and design your own antennas I mean you said before it’s gonna be easy, right? To make my own take on the challenge not design it Yes, yeah so I think you should make yerevan based on based on their design, yeah Yeah, it’s completely crazy, but I think it would be interesting to see because I think it’ll be that part Notice both of the guys that do this for a living are the ones laughing Good good, so this is VNA software. This is a Signal generator loss return loss. So this is how much energy is lost? Reflected back it’s not losing anything yes, and Here it loses a lot loses a lot because the tag is is using energy Yeah, okay I mean consuming it And so before we were seeing it was kind of all over the map and now it’s got this really clear spike And so this says that this tag absorbs that particular frequency. Yeah This is what it looks like. What the antenna just antenna looks like yeah. Okay. Yeah, and then let’s you okay Yeah, so and this is much deeper than before, right? Yeah, this was like 14 before and now yeah, and so this is like pretty clear spike I think I think we learned about as much as we’re gonna learn from this. Yeah There I reckon sir. Thank you for indulging in my RFID weird. You’re welcome. It’s always fun to Find out new stuff. Yeah and hang out. I know I have an excuse to mess around mister like totally at some point I will do another video about trying to make my own antennas here if you guys if you guys want to see that leave a comment in the comments below if It’s not interesting. I guess let me know that too. I think that does it for this time. I’m gonna go home Before he buys anything more crazy on Taobao If you enjoyed this video and you want to see more like it Hit that subscribe button down below and the little bell icon next to it if you want to be notified about future videos Until next time stay tuned for more adventures. I’ll see you guys again soon

100 thoughts on “Inside the RFID Stickers from a Chinese Cashier-less Store

  1. That makes me wonder, what stops you from buying one thing but walking out with ten? You can rip those chips so easy from the product. Maybe i am just to dumb to think about criminal stuff but hey. 🙂

  2. I love the way he conned his buddy to get a free beer.
    "Can I borrow your phone? Mine has a dead battery."

    "I kinda think it's beer o'clock, do you want a beer?"

    Alright, free beer!

  3. Those ice creams… did you say pea flavoured or pee flavoured? I can't imagine the latter would be all that popular. 🙂

  4. I heard Collin's voice and i was like ooohhhhh shit Collin is about to have a bargain war with the RFID store!!!

  5. how can you not steal something from the store? Couldn't you just remove the sticker from a product and walk out with the product?

  6. Put that store in the South Bronx and it would last about 3 minutes – the entire place would be gutted and spray painted “Eat Me” on the windows …

  7. There are no radio waves. The sticker is half of a transformer, the device interacting with it is the other half. It's completely done with magnetics.

  8. Bro, most RFID cards are silver ink circuitry printed on film with silver adhesive die bonding, because it has to be very cheap. Copper RFID is only for durable applications for Credit Cards, SIMMs, etc. Virtually all one use RFID cards are the cheap film type.

  9. Dude, it is green bean not green pea. Red Bean, Green Bean, Taro, Mango, Durian, Lichee, these are the standard Chinese ice creams.

  10. youtubers operating in China,,,,最便宜的翻墙梯子VPN来了,超低月费,每月仅需11.9元/100G流量!4K秒开,不限速,30+条线路任选,免费体验:shidongli点xyz

  11. Hahahah you get in and then…….account is depleted now living inside a cashier less store .OOOPS.

  12. You probably have myopia. Just watch as you need to squint to see the computer screen and your friend doesn't need. If you do not wear glasses, it would be good to see an ophthalmologist.

  13. Try TIRIS coz of need dat HV charge.. It should be work 🙂 https://www.elektormagazine.com/magazine/elektor-200510/18117

  14. Man… watching these China video's really makes you realize just how far behind these other countries the U.S. really is. Thank god for companies like Google and Amazon helping enhance tech that we use in the U.S. because without them we would be even further behind than we already are. And this is a prime example of why the trickle down effect actually works when it comes to income and wealth distribution. Trickle down really can enrich the lives of everyone involved.

  15. I love hate how your geeky enthusiasm forces me to watch your videos! I mean, I don't get to see these things here in Canada but heck, I can't stop watching what new tech you come across and the tribulations of understanding it.

  16. Also for the love of your mother's child (aka you), get some sunglasses. You need to protect those peepers for the microscope.

  17. The only catch about these shops is: it's in a illegal temporary construction so the real estate cost is minimum.
    This business exists only because the boss has some special connection with the government so it can do what you aren't allowed to.

  18. I'm concerned about the environmental impact of those stickers, as waste. Apparently, they are made for single use.

  19. does it mean that if I can the QR code from France, somewhere in China a door is opened??

  20. I always like foreign people reaction eating durian.
    I am Indonesian and I like it. It doesnt even smell bad to me.

    Sorry for my bad english

  21. Wow I knew the voice in the background was familiar haha amazing I'm hoping to meet you guys one yr in China lol

  22. 6:49 Pee flavored. Glad to know it's not just me into that stuff. United we stand, together we pee.

  23. Can't do this in the western country… stolen phone fake wallet/account, door held open, store raided for everything.

  24. antenna stuff is RF voodoo .. you need to know about the various antenna topologies, reactance, passive filters etc .. not easy. Also you need a test / measuring setup

  25. They have a large store like this in Australia. Except it has staff. But it uses RFID tags on the products. Then you just put your stuff in a box, pay and go.

  26. I just want to say that, they use this technology at Uniqlo in Japan. And as a engineer student I was really curious how they work. Thank you.

  27. Is this the horror future of shopping? No one inside a shop? No one to have a small talk with? What a lonely soulless way to live.

  28. A next video idea for you, for anyone – and worth researching…

    RFID business cards. One can also naturally print QR codes on them as well.

  29. This is taking alot of people jobs machines won't be around forever but us humans will so inbrace it or your going to destroy all metals etc you need to produce this stuff good luck making it from a plant

  30. RFID MARK OF THE BEAST! Read the BIBLE! U get that chip and one day NWO will take over the world will have one leader the Antichrist . If u don’t get it u won’t be able to eat, work, drink etc. u WILL HAVE SOLD UR SOUL and have bought a one way ticket to HELL!! READ THE BIBLE GOD WARNS US ABOUT ALL THIS! The LORD JESUS IS COMING WAKE UP PPL

  31. Interesting concept. In the US with liability issues this could not happen. This little vid makes me think generally speaking that is. As a culture are the Chinese people more honest then those from the US?

  32. Curious question: Why is there a random hyphen in "cashier[]less" and "employee[]less" in your title and description?

  33. is the new "I forgot my wallet", I see,,,中国大陆ss/ssr翻墙机场梯子VPN来了,支持翻墙回国,超低月费,每月仅需11.9元/100G流量!4K秒开,不限速,40+条线路任选,免费体验网址:shidonglivip点xyz

  34. I wish I had somewhere to talk with supply chain lovers. Is there a discord or a wechat for people who find this fascinating?

  35. Fun Fact: Impinj's "Monza R6-P" is used the tag used by Coca-Cola Freestyle machines to identify the syrup boxes. Same company that made the chip in there, and is also incredibly tiny and simply gives it's unique unchangeable tag ID, 96 to 128 bits of the electronic product code, and 32 to 64 bits for other user data.

  36. Fuck, this video was funny and interesting. How did you get the info of those RFID Americans in China? I imagine you must work in some sort of engineering department for an American company in China? Thanks for the uploads! Have you ever heard of the RFID in credit cards?

  37. Great Video. But poor Stewart …. He gets no props for his business? In the description, you did not include a way to Contact Stewie. I mean he did help you out in making video.

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