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LiveTag Is Out to Make Dumb Objects Smart

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A printed LiveTag.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego are developing a Wi-Fi-based system that uses inexpensive printed tags that can be affixed to non-electronic objects.

Credit: Xinyu Zhang et al.

University of California, San Diego researchers are developing a Wi-Fi-based system using inexpensive tags that can be stuck to everyday non-electronic objects.

These "LiveTags" feature patterns of copper foil printed onto a flexible paper-like substrate without any other electronic parts. Each tag reflects radio signals that are being emitted by an existing Wi-Fi router, which are picked up by a receiver.

As a demonstration, the researchers created a "paper-thin" interface that could be attached to any surface and used to remotely control a music player.

LiveTag can only sustain a communications range of one meter, and the team aims to extend that range and manufacture the tags via paper-and-ink printing.

From New Atlas
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