The Thing, also known as the Great Seal bug, was one of the first covert listening devices (or „bugs“) to use passive techniques to transmit an audio signal. It was concealed inside a gift given by the Soviets to the US Ambassador to Moscow on August 4, 1945. Because it was passive, being energized and activated by electromagnetic energy from an outside source, it is considered a predecessor of RFID technology.
Markings on the ball indicate that it contained a chip with a tiny antenna that transmits to nearby phones.
But rather than a spy device, the chip is an advertised feature of the Adidas AG ball.