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Scientists Print Cheap RFID Tags On Paper

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the tattoo-ink-next dept.

Technology 67

judgecorp writes "French scientists have found a way to make RFID tags cheaper by printing them on paper. [Abstract] This could allow wider tagging, and combine with technologies such as printed memory." These printed RFID tags use aluminum, "a lot less expensive than copper or silver, which are used in some types of RFID tag. This is good news for inventory users operating millions of RFID tags in their systems."

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67 comments

Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006203)

Is there cheap and low power tech for maintaining an RFID "display", the info on which can be changed programatically, and read from many meters across a building? Bonus points for the low power consumption coming from "digital ink" that consumes power only when changing the state of the display, and none while maintaining it.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39006513)

>Bonus points for the low power consumption coming from "digital ink" that consumes power only when changing the state of the display, and none while maintaining it.

That's e-ink, as used in the Kindle.

So yes, this appears (expensive) but doable.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006585)

Well, e-ink is a tech that uses electrostatics to position and maintain the display states, but it seems to me that magnetics, possibly optics, or even microfluidics - or something else - could be used to do it. What they have in common is digital control, so "digital ink". But probably e-ink is the method an RFID display would use, since it's the most mature and cheap.

The Kindle is pretty cheap, partly because it uses e-ink. An e-ink RFID display with only 64 pixels seems pretty cheap, depending on the expense of converting from visible light to RF display elements.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (2)

fliptout (9217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007001)

E-ink is not actually ink at all. It is a marketing term for bi-stable liquid crystal. So, no, you aren't going to magically print e-ink on anything and have a display.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008821)

I do believe you missed the GP's point.

Doc Ruby seems to be asking for an e-ink display tied to an RFID controller. The changing of the visible information would happen wirelessly, and using low amounts of power so as to remove the need for batteries. If such labels can be made cheaply enough. for instance, a box in a warehouse can be labeled with where it's supposed to be, as soon as it's assigned to go there. Place an order from NewEgg, Amazon, or any other technology-loving distributor, and your shipment could be addressed the moment you submit payment. All that remains is to gather boxes with addresses and load them in the truck.

Given this story's promise of low-cost RFID hardware, I expect this is possible, though it will be quite some time before it's perfected.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

bratwiz (635601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009241)

Good idea. Then some bright spot will stand outside the warehouse with an RFID writer and a pringles can and re-write all the shipping labels to his house! :-)

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39011559)

That's already a risk with rewritable static RFID tags. I'm surprised we haven't seen such an exploit in the wild already reported on Slashdot.

solution seeks problem (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39010085)

If such labels can be made cheaply enough. for instance, a box in a warehouse can be labeled with where it's supposed to be, as soon as it's assigned to go there.

Seems like an overcomplicated way to do it. Each box has its own identifier anyway, so when an order is confirmed you just need to tell someone (or something) to put boxes X Y & Z on truck 123.

Re:solution seeks problem (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39011579)

I think you're right about inventory control. But I'm interested in cheap, low power, reliable and possibly mobile distributed sensors that use RFID as the transmission network back to the sensor host.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39011551)

You're right about the HW I'm describing, but I'm talking about the dynamic RFID tag as a sensor network device. For example, every window and door could have one whose RFID digits are flipped only whenever it's opened/closed. Then a RFID reader would poll them periodically (or continuously if desired). The reader is line powered, but the sensors/displays are battery powered (these might even be recharged by the mechanical power opening/closing the door/window, even if that's a human hand). Presence detection could be extended to outdoors, without line power and cheap enough that replacement is no great loss.

That means the sensors are cheap, the batteries last a long time (so cheap to replace over years). And the RFID is constantly available for reading, unlike the intermittent transmission of current wireless distributed sensor tech (Zigbee, etc).

Then, since all wires (not just signal, but also power) are cut, they could be mobile. Two or three RFID readers could stereoscopically monitor location, without any power consumed by the remote node.

It seems cheaper, lower power, more reliable and more mobile than the current alternatives. It also would leverage a larger existing industry (RFID), rather than add a new infrastructure as new sensor tech is doing. Even before some breakthru in printing the actual circuits (and antennas/displays), which would probably eventually arrive, since that's where conventional static RFID is already going.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021875)

Have you ever worked with RFID readers? it's fantastically difficult to get them to work under optimal conditions, much less having the reader far enough away from the tags to make it worth not using wires or powered sensors. Add to the equation powering a sensor from an RF field (limited to 4W EIRP at 908-928 MHz) and you're pretty much doomed.

http://www.enigmatic-consulting.com/Communications_articles/RFID/Link_budgets.html [enigmatic-consulting.com]

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022469)

I haven't worked with RFID sensors, so I'm enjoying the feedback in this discussion from people who have.

I wasn't talking about harvesting the RFID reader energy to power the sensors, though that's interesting even though you say it's not enough. I was talking about powering the sensors and their RFID display by harvesting the mechanical energy of the moving door/window they're sensing. Which, since I have worked with distributed wireless sensors other than RFID (Zigbee, some other standards, some proprietary), could be sufficient depending on the energy consumption of the RFID display components, which is the point of my interest.

What you're saying about the whole approach is that using an RFID reader in a building to read RFID tags, even the currently common static tags, across up to a hundred meters or so through building walls and inventory, will not work reliably. I thought that warehouses were routinely tracking inventory that way, even using 2-3+ readers to locate the tags in 3D space. Are you saying that the reliable range of current RFID readers is just a few meters? Or maybe even less?

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031955)

I worked on a project some time ago that studied the feasibility of using RFID tags in a whole host of industrial and commercial settings. Our findings where that many of the use cases that RFID was expected to solve were not possible to the level of reliability that most customers expected. I can't go into details of the customers, but one scenario was attempting to track goods on a pallet. Each item on the pallet would have a tag and as the pallet was picked up by a reader-enabled forklift, all of the tagged items were read and validated against the shipping manifest. It worked well for dry goods, but we found it impossible to read the inner tags on pallets with frozen turkeys or ice cream. Pesky RF absorption! The interim solution was to use a pallet tag that referenced the items on the manifest.

Similarly we were called on to read tags on very high value large goods as they passed under a portal on a truck bed. The issues there were twofold - the items were steel (not conducive to having an RF tag work when applied to it), and the antennas has to be above the lane and high enough for a semi trailer to pass under. That stooged up the read range. This scenario worked fairly well, but we still had missed reads depending on geometry and tag placement. Plus metal-compatible tags were savagely expensive (but reasonable considering the cost of the items they were on - we're talking $100k - $2M+ items).

I have other stories, but all of them end up with "It works, most of the time. If you want 100% reads, use another technology."

Notice that even the mighty Walmart backed WAY off on their mandatory RFID tagging requirements and their smart-shelf technology. It simply isn't reliable enough right now.

PS - I've also used ZigBee on some of my personal, hobby projects. I like the Digi modules - I've designed a mesh of solar-powered sensors using Digi ZigBee modules and Microchip PIC microcontrollers. Very fun.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043101)

This is all very interesting. Do you think that my RFID scenario, where the tags are immobile and read by immobile readers, can get to 99% reliability? If the tags and readers are installed in places they're reliably read and then left there. If the readers have to read tags through drywall, studs and maybe cinder block, across up to 30 meters? How about also through concrete floors? Across up to 100m?

There's probably not a lot of use for that scenario with static tag values. But with dynamic tag values, if they're installed in the right place, they could be a cheap one-way sensor network. If they work.

If not, what's the chances that Zigbee will cost under $20 per sensor within the next couple years? Under $10?

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043637)

For a non battery-assisted tag at 30m through free space with a non-pinpoint beam antenna* you'd be hard-pressed to get 10% [yes, 10%] read for a tag that's < $1 and small. At 100m, no chance. I hate to say it, but I think your idea of RFID as a sensor net is DOA both from the physics involved and the expense (RFID readers/antennas/coax/etc are not cheap).

Look up the power link budget of RFID - the fact that they work at all is astonishing. The power that the RFID reader gets back from the tag falls off as the 4th power of distance - that a wicked barrier. Add to that the directivity issues, and you're talking impossible.

* To read tags scattered across a building, you need omnidirectional antennas, or at least a small number of moderately directional antennas. This, however, is diametrically opposed to the need to read tags at a distance - the more power you focus into a beam, the less there is for reading tags outside the beam.

ZigBee modules are currently $22.50 for the SMT version and $17 for the DIP version [digi.com] . These are essentially small sensor platforms ready to go. They have a UART on board (their interface to the non-RF world is via the serial interface - you can use them to transfer RS-232 data from any device). They have A/D converters and digital IO lines on board, and can be configured to sleep, wake up, take readings, send data to the 'mother ship' (which is just another ZigBee module - no expensive reader needed) and go back to sleep. They can operate off of small batteries (3-ish volts, rx & tx current about 40 mA, sleep current in the microamp region). This is exactly what you want, with the added ability to use always-on nodes as mesh repeaters as well as sensor nodes. Suddenly your ZigBee-enabled lightswitch (that's mains-powered) is acting as a repeater for your solar powered swimming pool wave height sensor - with NO explicit configuration! They even have a USB stick version that appears as a standard COM port to your computer.

PLEASE have a look at the Digi zigbee modules - they're extremely well thought out, and have lots of features in a small, efficient package.

PS - They have higher power ones and have ones with antenna connectors if you want even more flexibility. They have data collectors/routers [digi.com] as ready-to-go products that can publish to the web and be managed over the web if you don't want to roll your own.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058149)

Thanks for the reality. At least that condemns to fiction the panopticon dystopia where The Man tracks us all in the streets with 3D RFID locators against the swarm of RFID tags in the products and clothes we wear/carry.

The Digi Zigbee sensors are "ready to go", but need more parts to be complete, right? A temperature sensor node would need at least the $17 DIP, PCB, battery/holder, enclosure. Final cost is going to be something like $25, right? Any chance that in qty 1000 that will be under $10 by say 2015?

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058643)

I wouldn't say the idea of "The Man" tracking us has been put to bed. Who would've thought there'd be thousands of CCTV cameras deployed in London? They are/were expensive, fragile, and need lots of bandwidth. That didn't stop a gov't with a nearly unlimited budget and a penchant for snooping.

Tracking humans as they walk along a street with RFID tags in their clothes? Easy, since a single read from a 'registered' garment will suffice to ID the wearer. Extra reads are gravy. Garments are most often on the outside of the 'ugly bag of mostly water', so attenuation isn't a big deal. The distances involved are very short, and the gov't doesn't have to worry about stealth wrt reader placement. You know gov'ts are deploying RFID readers at borders to track cars by the now-required RFID tag in tires, right?

As for the ZigBee solution: I can't predict prices. ZigBee is in that precarious Ouroboros loop of "there-are-too-few-adopters-beacuse-it's-expensive-but-it-would-be-cheaper-if-there-were-more-adopters". That sort of thought pattern is what blew Norman's [startrek.com] circuit breaker.

If you're going for a full-on product, then yes, you'll need those things. If you're hacking together something, then quite literally a few soldered on wires and either a thermistor or solid state temp sensor would do. We're talking an extra $2 or so.

Alternatively you could go with a different chipset. There are 'naked' ZigBee chips out there if development costs are less important than unit cost. You can get the chipset used in the digi modules [ember.com] ; also Microchip [microchip.com] has a few solutions [microchip.com] , but you'll pay dearly to license the ZigBee stack, and be doing some serious low-level hacking.

Another solution if you don't require actual ZigBee interoperability: go with straight 802.15.4 and a simpler, cheaper protocol on top of it. There's MIWI, digimesh, plus a whole host of others.

Good luck with your project - you seem quite passionate about it.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072699)

Oh, Big Brother is real, I just thought maybe RFID wasn't His way. NYC just saw reported [nydailynews.com] that its 3/4 $billion "first responder" wireless radio system is such a boondoggle the city tried to sell it to Northrup Grumman and lease it back, but "at least" the Department of Transportation is using it to monitor cars by imaging their license plates and databasing them. The sell/leaseback attempt would have gotten Northrup to lease the same system to other private users. So Bloomberg created a wireless citywide surveillance network that doesn't protect us, but is a platform for private interests to track us all, in realtime video indexed to our government files. The only part that doesn't make sense is that the military contractor isn't taking Bloomberg up on the deal.

As for my own wireless sensors, I'll probably try Zigbee. I'd be happier if there were a way to upgrade the stack in a year or two with 6lowpan or something more open than Zigbee, but it seems the OTA upgrade would kill the remaining batteries. If only there were a $2 thermocouple recharger that could harvest ambient heat faster than the radio/MCU kills the battery, it might be OK.

And then maybe we could get some parity in watching the watchmen.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39011181)

E-ink is not a bi-stable liquid crystal. It's a multicellular suspension of microcapsules of electrically charged ink, with a layer of electrodes that can be charged to cause migration of the desired colour to the surface.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39011451)

No, the other reply [slashdot.org] is correct: I'm not talking about printing a dynamic RFID display. I'm talking about e-ink (or other techniques) simply because they're so low power, and seem otherwise suitable for the application.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Big Smirk (692056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009353)

Long range RFID is pretty much 900Mhz (ish). To get the chip to work at ultra low power levels it has to be pretty small. We are not talking Intel top of the line foundry but 90nm or better. Bottom line, no way to print that chip.

As for the antenna - you can print that but the variations in printing (like 1/64 of an inch makes attaching chips more expensive. The attach costs they are targeting is .25 of a cent per antenna. To achieve these numbers speed is king.

Also, for maximum performance (best antenna tuning) ink technologies don't work so well. I believe most are chemically etched now.

So you can expect the cheapest RFID tags to be around 10 c. Bigger ones cost more (but can be read farther away).

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39011373)

I'm not looking to print the logic that maintains the display, or the display. That would be awesome, and cheap, but the "ink" I'm talking about isn't really ink. It's just called that because it's a "set and forget" device, like ink is, even though it's dynamic (resetable), addressable - just not as quickly as displays whose state must be actively maintained. For example e-ink displays in the (monochrome, for simplicity) Kindle are an array of tiny balls, black one one hemisphere and white on the other, that are flipped by a tiny charge but stay in place without applying power.

Something like that, which is "black/white" in the RF band rather than the visible, seems like a very useful approach to radio telecom. It might not cost $0.10 apiece, but $1 or even $10 apiece is better than the $20-30 apiece alternatives like Zigbee (and any other 802.15.4 radios, and alternatives like Ant). And instead of powering broadcast by the remote nodes, they could spend power on only flipping the RFID "digits" on the display. Which means longer battery life, or more power for more complex remote operations, like sensing and data preprocessing, or smaller/cheaper batteries. Plus constantly displaying the remote node state for reading by more centralized, line powered readers means more reliability and less complex telemetry acquisition procedures than the radio network broadcasts that consume power every transmit to join the network, repeat frames every time (without handshaking) to improve delivery probability, etc.

Plus I think RFID has a much larger installed base than any low-power radio network like Zigbee has; maybe even more than Bluetooth. If the remote nodes never receive any data, but only send back to the reader, like RFID, then "dynamic RFID" seems like the best model for cheap/reliable, and therefore ubiquitous.

Re:Dynamic RFID Ink? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39013337)

You can make it work with discrete components. Intel was the first to publish this (Intel Wisp -- J. Smith, A. Sample, Yeager) Its not limited to = 90nm processes.

Thank God these technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39006257)

will never be used for untoward purposes.

I mean, they're just the physical equivalent of web-cookies, right?

Re:Thank God these technologies (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006717)

I mean, they're just the physical equivalent of web-cookies, right?

Exactly! And once they are on money it will make accounting so much simpler.
Of course if you were engaged in something you would rather not have tracked and traced remotely then gold and jewelry will be a more attractive means of exchange...

Re:Thank God these technologies (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006937)

Unlike web cookies, you won't get that attached to you when just looking at something.

Re:Thank God these technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007109)

Unlike web cookies, you won't get that attached to you when just looking at something.

Are you so naive as to assume that a technology lives in isolation of all others?

Is your "smart"-phone turned on when you browse in a store?

A system is comprised of multiple technologies, not just one.

Re:Thank God these technologies (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007223)

Is your "smart"-phone turned on when you browse in a store?

Nope.

Re:Thank God these technologies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009847)

Is your "smart"-phone turned on when you browse in a store?

Nope.

Since it can be controlled remotely, how can you tell? I trust you know that many "smart"-phones are "on" even when your (software implemented) "on/off" is set to off. There may not be a dial tone, but the telco knows exactly where your phone is even when it is set to "off".

Regardless, it was just a "for-instance". There are many, many other ways to do this.

Your posts suggest a tremendously naive or cavalier attitude with regards to the importance of privacy. I'll bet you use Facebook.

Bad news for the Tin Foil Hat crowd (2)

billrp (1530055) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006281)

Or maybe it's good news?

Re:Bad news for the Tin Foil Hat crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39006471)

Or maybe it's good news?

Definitely good news -- the same printer can print fancy aluminum hats!

riggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39006285)

will this let us track riggers better when they're stealing movie screens?

The day is soon coming (1)

Metricmouse (2532810) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006321)

when I can just push my grocery cart through a halo and slide my card.

Re:The day is soon coming (1)

sgtstein (1219216) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006343)

Why even slide your card? With the security of Google Wallet, you'll be buying yours, and the rest of the people in the store(world?) groceries and other items.

Re:The day is soon coming (3, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006359)

why waste time sliding a card, already technology exists where you could just walk through

Re:The day is soon coming (4, Interesting)

dumuzi (1497471) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006577)

Why push a cart, the technology already exists for your fridge to order your groceries for you. In fact you could have an RFID scanner in your garbage so when you throw away packaging like a cereal box it will be added to your grocery list and delevered to your door next *day. That way we will all have more free time to spend imaging how great life will be when we finally get our flying cars.

Re:The day is soon coming (1)

bratwiz (635601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009277)

Why stop there? If we put RFID tags on all the bills and commercial correspondence as well, then the identify thieves could just do their thing driving by, without even having to get out of their cars to dig through the trash! What a timesaver that would be. Might even go a ways toward making the profession a little more respectable-- more along the lines of, say, drug dealers. Or wall-street bankers.

Re:The day is soon coming (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009949)

identify thieves could just do their thing driving by, without even having to get out of their cars to dig through the trash! What a timesaver that would be. Might even go a ways toward making the profession a little more respectable -- more along the lines of, say, [...] wall-street bankers.

I don't understand. It sounds like a massive step down to me.

The Awkward future moment... (1)

JoosepN (1847126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006687)

...when you try to steal something while having the card in your pocket.

Re:The Awkward future moment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009829)

No, the awkward future moment would be taking something without having the card in your pocket.

Re:The day is soon coming (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009247)

Good! With the extra time saved, the DHS will be able to start patting customers down at the local grocery checkout!

Re:The day is soon coming (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006365)

What, you think in the future the US still won't have adapted to a modern electronic card payment system, like EMV or even Contactless EMV?

Re:The day is soon coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39006367)

Why even slide your card? With Google Wallet, you could just type your pin into your phone and pay that way.

Re:The day is soon coming (1)

bratwiz (635601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009259)

when I can just push my grocery cart through a halo and slide my card.

Uh, don't you mean a set of HORNS and not a halo? After all, RFID is the mark of the beast!

CmdrDildo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39006375)

Maybe they can print one of this Ids on the fucking slash-fucking-tard asshats so that we can know where they are at all times. We don't want these shitballs mixing with regular folks.

yay! (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006545)

With this new affordability, I will be able to use a strong sensor array and cheap tags to track the gremlins that keep hiding my wallet, keys, and remote!

But but but! (5, Funny)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006637)

With this and the last story, how am I supposed to go paperless now!

Re:But but but! (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009169)

The next upcoming fad will be to go silicon-less! The silicon free office will be written up in all the business magazines. There will be slashdot articles of the sort "write the name of the product on paper and tape it to the box, saving yourself the hassle of an RFID tag!"

Re:But but but! (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009449)

Just be glad you didn't try to go paperless like I did. If you don't invest in a bidet, the bathroom can get messy.

Airport baggage handling (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39006739)

RFID has an obvious application in baggage handling systems, such as at airports. One of the deterrents has been cost. Hopefully that will change with this technology.

hisssss or zap (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006767)

Aluminum? Guess I'll have to start humidifying or microwaving suspicious papers and documents. Humidity or steam should corrode aluminum on bleached papers.

OT, but still important (5, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39006847)

Slashdot should not be following the lead of the popular media. When you report on a "journalist getting arrested", you start out with his name. When you report on a scientist's discovery, you start out with his nationality. This is how media relegates science to the level of unimportant. If the article or headline starts out the description of the person (starting with their name), it immediately registers as a personal accomplishment and makes the person important. If it starts with their, field of specialty, their nationality or any other qualifiers of who they are and only mentions their name some time down the line, it makes their work sound utilitarian and irrelevant. Would you ever expect to see a head line in the news that "a Congressmen made a statement about such and such?" No, the headline would read "Mr. X, a Congressman from...." This ends up creating a de facto pecking order in which scientists and engineers are at the bottom.

Re:OT, but still important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007075)

A good point. Although i think there is a lot of complicity from the scientists and engineers. A lot of them shy away from any kind of bureaucratic or social posturing, looking only to sequester themselves away with their scientific interests (Richard Feynman liked to say as much explicitly). It is a bad habit. Nobody is asking them to spend all their time plotting and playing the PR game, but to shrink at every opportunity only hurts the scientific community, and they should understand as much (or be made to understand as much), even if it is in fact hard to quantify the kind of improvement in scientific funding and literacy that would result from them being a bit more self confident and righteous.

                                      Thank you for pointing that our Superwiz

So, How long before... (1)

BlackThorne_DK (688564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008681)

If it's indeed possible to print a complex chip, like memory, how long do I have to wait, before I can print a 'modified' MiFare chip, complete with my preferred Card ID on the back of my 'fake' OysterCard? Wouldn't it be possible to create a MiFare card, with any ID number on it, In stead of emulating one, using the hardware available today?

Re:So, How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009793)

This research is only about printing an inductor coil or an antenna. They still attach standard CMOS RFiD chips to it.

There are some attempts of printing organic circuits but their performance (transistor speed and gain) is way below of what is needed for making RFiD tags.

Paging Cory Doctorow to find my remote (2)

daboochmeister (914039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008771)

In "Makers", Cory Doctorow has a segment on what would happen if RFID tags were easily printable this way - he depicted it as an opportunity to tag basically everything in your house, and then you'd never lose anything -- can't find the remote, just search it's current location.

Re:Paging Cory Doctorow to find my remote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39010047)

RFID tags are designed to tell you what things are, not where they are. Sounds like typical futurist bullshit.

Re:Paging Cory Doctorow to find my remote (1)

fostware (551290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39010317)

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/tsd_products_support_series_home.html [cisco.com]

Properly configured Cisco 2700-series wireless location appliance, 6500-series wireless lan controller, and certain Cisco AP's together can locate RFID tags, and track them using a wireless control server.

That came out in 2006 I think...

Came close to recommending it as an absentee system for private schools, but we couldn't overcome the practicalities of students swapping shoes, ties, bags, students cards, etc. All a student needs to do is hand their tagged item of clothing or equipment to someone else to drag to school, and the absenteeism would slip the school by and subject the administration to duty of care questions.

Re:Paging Cory Doctorow to find my remote (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39011269)

As represented in the book, the storage has pick-ups, so it knows what the things are that have been stored in it. Equipped with an indicator light, the storage doesn't even need to know where it is - it just blinks it's light when you send a signal corresponding to the item you are looking for.

Have you been to Primark recently? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39010069)

These printed RFID tags use aluminum, "a lot less expensive than copper or silver, which are used in some types of RFID tag

It won't be long before shoplifters are stealing clothes for the scrap value of the tags.

Actually, have you been to [Primark|Kmart] recently...

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