RFID

  • Engineers at MIT are developing a way to turn the humble RFID tag into a light-powered sensor for the internet of things.
  • It was just last year that we heard how scientists from Stanford University had designed a skin-worn sensor that measures stress via cortisol levels in the sweat. Now, researchers from that same institute have announced a similar sensor that tracks other vital signs.
  • No-one likes to queue at airport check-in lines, it eats into your holiday time, and can be both boring and tiring. Now British Airways has signed up for ViewTags, reusable electronic baggage tags that can be attached to luggage before holiday-makers get to the airport.
  • Science
    ​Essentially cheap, battery-less, sticker-type devices, RFID tags transmit a signal when temporarily powered up by the electromagnetic signal from a reader device. Now, thanks to experimental new technology, they could be used to bring "smart" functionality to plain ol' analog objects.
  • Science
    ​Currently, if you're trying to digitally track someone's movements, a depth-sensing camera such as the Microsoft Kinect is one of the best ways to go. Researchers are developing a potentially better system, however, which involves attaching cheap sensors to the person's clothing.
  • Science
    While it's kind of people to set up hummingbird feeders in their back yards, some scientists are wondering if the practise may be causing more harm than good. In an effort to better understand the issue, researchers equipped a group of the birds with tags that were read by devices at feeders.
  • Science
    ​Passive RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are small, inexpensive, battery-less labels that are already used to track and identify a wide variety of items. If MIT's experimental RFIQ system enters general use, they may also soon allow consumers to check if food products are contaminated.
  • Traditional batteries are large, contain toxic chemicals, and need to be periodically replaced, meaning they're not ideal for powering medical implants. But new research from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has demonstrated a new way to power implanted devices using radio waves.
  • ​You've gotta watch what you eat and drink … but if you need a little help doing so, a new tooth-mounted antenna-like sensor could help. Designed by scientists at Tufts University, it's currently able to track its wearer's intake of glucose, salt and alcohol.
  • Now you can have your wonder material and eat it, too. The lab of James Tour at Rice University has demonstrated a way to etch graphene onto food like bread and potatoes, as well as materials like cardboard and cloth, where it could then act as an RFID tag.
  • Tracking stock in warehouses is a huge challenge for businesses. Lost items reportedly cost American retailers over $45 billion annually, so tech that makes inventory tracking easier has the potential to have a huge impact. A new MIT system could do just that, using drones and RFID tags.
  • ​​For years a subset of the transhumanist community, called “grinders”, has been experimenting with implanting electronics and microchips into their bodies. Now a tech company based in Wisconsin is set to offer all its employees the option of having a microchip implanted in their hands.​