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Microchip-embedded 'intelligent' t-shirts used to track student truancy in Brazil

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A city in Brazil has outfitted 20,000 different children with school uniforms embedded with microchips in order to help track whether students are attending school.

Flag of Brazil
Flag of Brazil

A new program in Brazil is making it easier than ever for parents to know if their children are attending school — by tracking them with microchips built into their school uniforms. The Associated Press reports that 20,000 grade-school students across 25 different schools in Vitoria da Conquista are wearing special t-shirts which contain a chip placed on the sleeve or underneath their school's coat of arms. A system in place at the schools recognizes when the chips are present, sending a text message to parents when their child arrives on campus — or if they're more than 20 minutes late. The city reportedly spent $670,000 having the shirts designed and created, and plans to roll the system out to all 43,000 of the city's public school students by 2013. The clothes can be washed and pressed without harming the chips inside, and according to the city's education secretary Coriolano Moraes they also include a security mechanism "that makes tampering virtually impossible." Whether that will stop children from simply handing off their microchip-enabled shirts to friends for virtual school check-ins, however, remains to be seen.