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If it moves, tag it!

According to USA Today, a new generation of electronic smart tags – called ePCs or Electronic Product Codes – are heading our way. These low power electronic chips – also known as Radio Frequency ID tags – have apparently been around for around 30 years, identifying military equipment and the like. Now though, with the massive improvements in miniaturisation and power consumption, we are about to see them embedded in everything from grocery items kitchen sink. A veritable rash of electronic bar-codes if you will.

The reason is that the price of these tags, which emit a short radio pulsed ID signal which can be read by adjacent receivers, is finally coming down to the pennies level, which means that attaching them to everyday items becomes a feasible reality. Once the price drops to 5 cents or less, which should happen within the next 3 or 4 years they say, we can expect to see lots of these tags appearing in our environment. This will enable cool things like packaged food instructing the microwave on cooking instructions, or tagged clothes telling the washing machine what program to use.

Buzzword of the article? Tinyband (cf narrowband, and broadband).

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