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Author Topic: How can we improve RFID technology?  (Read 4512 times)

Offline thedoc

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How can we improve RFID technology?
« on: 24/04/2012 11:55:34 »
RFID, or Radio-frequency identification tags are the small electronic tags that are used for a huge number of applications – from security tags in shops, records management, delivery tracking and even marking livestock.  Now, research at Cambridge University has led to the creation of a ground-breaking RFID tracking system that could locate these tags with incredible accuracy, over relatively large distances and in real time...
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here

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« Last Edit: 24/04/2012 11:55:34 by _system »


 

Offline graham.d

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #1 on: 25/04/2012 12:32:39 »
This is a good idea. It is using spacial and temporal diversity to avoid multipath cancellation of a signal. I think the expansion of this technology into reading every item in a shopping trolley is key - this is the holy grail solution. I am not sure that operation over a wide area is so important although it could then work with fewer (or even just one) transmitter array which could be directed to one small region at a time to see which trolley has which goods. I guess, alternantively, all trolleys could be transmitted too but the receive range could be kept low with a receiver near each trolley as it passed by.
 

Offline raghusesha

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #2 on: 02/05/2012 11:54:55 »
Hi Doc,
I would like to know more about this. This looks very interesting. Is this work published in a journal?  Thanks in advance
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #3 on: 03/05/2012 14:11:40 »
Raghusesha - Dr Chris normally mentions any recent articles which might have prompted the interview - why don't you try Google Scholar or Arxiv on Dr Sithamparanathan Sabesan
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #4 on: 05/05/2012 08:35:19 »
Most interesting extension of a passive device.

Ringing up a full shopping cart at once would be interesting. 
Just don't forget and bring a pack of candy back into the store in one's purse...  or else one might pay for it over and over again.
How many people will discover that they can de-tag an item and get it for free in the bottom of their shopping cart?  Do items with redundant tags get rung up twice.  I suppose one could add serial numbers to the redundant tags.  One would then get the S/N with the purchase to verify that it is only rung up once.

Something like railcars that go sequentially through a restriction point could be tracked with barcodes on the outside of the cars, or an active transmitter including GPS.  However, I suppose with this technology, one could do manifests of everything on the rail car, as well as tracking what was removed, and where.

Pets are now routinely "chipped".  One could certainly do better monitoring of the pets with this technology.

I could also see it extended to tracking wildlife.  Perhaps not giving as much information as a radio-transmitter could collect, but one it could essentially last indefinitely.  And, one should be able to pick up the animals as they pass by their favorite wattering hole, or food place.

Rapid Passes for Toll Roads & Bridges?

I have no doubt there will be an impending debate about using the information to track and locate people.  Smart Credit Cards?  Vehicle License Plates, Smart Passports, etc.  What about chipping children?

Then the next extension will be tracking people's movements, through traffic signals, down Main Street, etc.

But, think of the speed-checker.
Check the whole cart at once.
Automatically find your credit card & debit it.  Maybe add facial recognition to the credit card security system.
No need to even break pace or take one's hand off of the cart handles as one walks from the store.

Of course, there has been a debate on whether it is wise for a society to eliminate all the entry level jobs, store checkers & etc.
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #5 on: 05/05/2012 10:45:40 »
Absolutely right Clifford. You can see the usefulness of such systems and the potential demand for it but, as with many advances, there are always consequences that need to be considered. An example was fingerprint recognition that would make it hard for anyone to benefit from mugging you for your credit cards - that was until it was realised that this might mean that the mugger simply takes your finger too! The "arms race" then led to dead finger recognition and the hope that the muggers knew about it!!

As a technologist there is always a tendency to just problem solve and see the bright side of advances but there are invariably downsides too, even from the idea of scanning a shopping trolley. Already the major supermarkets have self scanning pay stations (which I find take longer than using a cashier) and, of course, would be superceded by this system. It would mean fewer jobs for cashiers and a further advance that the large supermarket chains would have over the smaller shops. Such systems could have many uses, but along with the advances in surveillance systems, it does mean more power to the state (UK, USA, or wherever) and putting an ever greater trust that that state is always going to remain benign.

It should be of concern to all of us about how society is changing as a result of technology. It has given most of us more free time but it can also mean the generation of two societies - the users and developers and technology (that have paid work) and those who no longer have work because their skills have been replaced by machines. Of course this is probably not a topic for NS. Perhaps there should be a new topic area on the social impact of science and technology. Any thoughts?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #6 on: 05/05/2012 12:38:42 »
It should be of concern to all of us about how society is changing as a result of technology. It has given most of us more free time but it can also mean the generation of two societies - the users and developers and technology (that have paid work) and those who no longer have work because their skills have been replaced by machines. Of course this is probably not a topic for NS. Perhaps there should be a new topic area on the social impact of science and technology. Any thoughts?
I believe the social impacts of technology to society is a topic to be considered by scientists and engineers.  However, I would agree that it goes beyond this RFID topic.

I've split off another topic on the socio-economic impact of technology.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=44059.0
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #7 on: 05/05/2012 21:50:33 »
And of course, once you yourself have been "chipped", you (or whoever was carrying your arm) could just breeze in and out of the store without any interaction at all other than picking up your supplies.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #8 on: 06/05/2012 00:30:13 »
And of course, once you yourself have been "chipped", you (or whoever was carrying your arm) could just breeze in and out of the store without any interaction at all other than picking up your supplies.
If a chip could be put in, it could be removed, or transplanted. 
However, it could take mugging to a much higher level.

Fortunately, many crimes are merely crimes of opportunity.  The average street-thug would be more likely to lift a wallet on a crowded tram than to perform a minor surgery to steal an embedded chip.

Of course, the other option with implanted credit cards would be to passively steal the credit information using the same technology being developed to remotely read them.

Is passive security enough, or should they have some kind of smart security feature?  Something that one would probe with a random key to get a specific encrypted response.  Thus a cloned card would not have access to the specific logic function to create the response (at least in theory).
 

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Re: How can we improve RFID technology?
« Reply #8 on: 06/05/2012 00:30:13 »

 

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