Brush-on microdots tag your valuables

People might just think twice about stealing that fancy pen off your desk if they know you've been tagging your belongings using the DataDot Personal DNA Kit. The all-in-one DIY product, a modern update to engravers, lets you attach microscopic identifiers to your objects to reduce theft and/or improve chances of recovery. With the microdots, valuable items such as artwork, cell phones, jewelry, stereos, bicycles or car parts can be linked to their owner with, in essence, a unique personal-asset DNA.

DataDot Personal DNA Kit
Credit: DataDot Technology

Each DataDot particle is about the size of a grain of salt and made of a high-tech polyester substrate permanently laser-etched with 50 characters of information. When registered on DataDots' secure Web site, the DataDot identifier establishes ownership that can be recognized by police and insurance companies.

The kit, which comes from DataDot Technology of Redmond, Wash., sells for $19.95 online and comes with hundreds of DataDots pre-mixed in an indelible, clear-drying adhesive. The kit includes a foam brush for applying the adhesive, which contains an ultraviolet trace to make locating the DataDot easier. You also get DataDot decals, which will hopefully tell those would-be thieves to go away.

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