Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nano-based RFID tag, you're it

UPC-A barcodeImage via Wikipedia

Rice, Korean collaboration produces printable tag that could replace bar codes

Long lines at store checkouts could be history if a new technology created in part at Rice University comes to pass.

Rice researchers, in collaboration with a team led by Gyou-jin Cho at Sunchon National University in Korea, have come up with an inexpensive, printable transmitter that can be invisibly embedded in packaging. It would allow a customer to walk a cart full of groceries or other goods past a scanner on the way to the car; the scanner would read all items in the cart at once, total them up and charge the customer's account while adjusting the store's inventory.
clipped from www.media.rice.edu
IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices is based on a carbon-nanotube-infused ink for ink-jet printers
The ink is used to make thin-film transistors, a key element in radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be printed on paper or plastic.

RFID tags are almost everywhere already. The tiny electronic transmitters are used to identify and track products and farm animals. They're in passports, library books and devices that let drivers pass through tollbooths without digging for change.

More advanced versions could collect all the information about the contents of a store in an instant, letting a retailer know where every package is at any time.

It would allow a customer to walk a cart full of groceries or other goods past a scanner on the way to the car; the scanner would read all items in the cart at once, total them up and charge the customer's account while adjusting the store's inventory. 
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