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RFID

Games

The world's most high-tech (and expensive) Scrabble board

With its basic game board and lettered tiles, Scrabble is about as low-tech of a game as you can get. But that hasn't stopped Mind Sports International from giving the game's iconic board a 21st century upgrade. For the company's upcoming festival in Prague, a new Scrabble board was built that uses RFID chips in each tile to detect where each letter is placed and transmit the data online almost instantly. Read More

Around The Home

New system uses RFID tech to keep track of your ... socks?

If you’re someone who can afford really fancy socks, then it’s entirely possible that you might not want to “lower” yourself to the act of going into a store to buy them. That’s why Switzerland’s BLACKSOCKS started its Sockscription system, in which users regularly receive premium new Italian socks by mail. It doesn’t stop there, however. The company is now offering Smarter Socks, which communicate with the user’s iPhone to deliver the, um ... ultimate sock-sorting experience.Read More

Blokket takes your RFID-chipped devices off the grid

Identity theft is a constant concern in the digital age, and the inclusion of RFID chips in just about everything from cell phones to passports unfortunately opens up another avenue for would-be thieves to lift your data. The only way to really know you were secure would be to block all wireless frequencies from reaching your IDs and gadgets. ThinkGeek's solution is the Blokket, a small pouch designed to hold mobile devices or RFID-chipped IDs and block them from receiving any incoming wireless signals.Read More

Mobile Technology

One-cent rectenna could enable large-scale adoption of NFC at low cost

By now, we’ve all become quite used to seeing QR codes on products, price tags and advertisements – just scan the code with your smartphone’s camera, and it’s converted into readable information. Soon, however, those codes could be facing competition from something known as the rectenna. It’s an inexpensive label-like device that transmits data to a near-field communication (NFC)-enabled smartphone, using that phone’s radio waves as its power source.Read More

Electronics

Cheap, energy-efficient ARM Cortex-M0+ may usher in the Internet of Things

The newest entry in ARM's Cortex line, the Cortex-M0+ is claimed to be the world's most energy-efficient processor, delivering 32-bit performance on around one third of the typical energy requirements of an 8- or 16-bit processor. Targeting low-cost sensors and microcontrollers, the M0+ will come with a very modest price tag and could act as a crucuial stepping stone to a world in which everyday objects communicate with each other, sharing data to make smart, coordinated decisions that will improve our quality of life.Read More

Electronics

Sony develops power outlet that can recognize devices and users

Sony has developed a power outlet that can identify devices plugged into it, as well as individuals using the plug. The company says such technology could allow the electricity usage of individual devices to be monitored so non-essential devices could be switched off remotely in the event of limited electricity supply, or for the billing of customers charging their electric vehicles or mobile devices in public places.Read More

Mobile Technology

U Grok It uses your phone to find your misplaced things

Last year, we told you about a smartphone-based system that can be used to find your missing stuff, known as BiKN. It consists of an electronic case that the phone slides into, which tracks the whereabouts of paired radio frequency tags that the user attaches to their car keys, purse, children – you name it. The phone displays the location of the sought items, or can sound an alarm if one of them gets too far away. Now, it looks like BiKN might have some competition, in the form of the similar-but-different U Grok It. Read More

Electronics

Antenna-less RFID tags designed to work where others don't – on metal objects

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are definitely a handy way of tracking shipments. Instead of simply crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, importers and exporters can check the location and condition of shipped items in real time, by remotely accessing the data being transmitted by RFID tags attached to those items. Unfortunately, many such tags don't work on metal objects such as shipping containers or oil drums, as the metal interferes with the functioning of the tags' antennas. A new tag developed at North Dakota State University gets around that limitation, however - it uses the metal object as its antenna. Read More

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