Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, Disney Research, and MIT have recently come up with new uses for off-the-shelf radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. They are able to develop a new technique and system for processing these RFID tags for practical applications in games, interactive objects and toys, and physical interfaces.
The ‘RapID’ system the researchers developed could potentially lead to the production of cheap interactive toys. Same technology can also be integrated into a number of smart devices at minimal expense.
RFID tags are usually utilized for inventory control purposes or for reading luggage tags. With the application of new technology, it can now also identify physical movements and touch in real time. Normally, passive RFID tags sends out an identifying code when energized radio frequency signal off an RFID reader which usually takes a little while for the responses.
As reported by The Verge, the research team made a number of interactive toys to showcase the system’s capabilities including a tic-tac-toe board that shows the game on the screen of a computer with matching sound effects. The physical audio control board also enables users to mix music and controlling movements displayed on screen.
RapID can detect movement in under 200 millisecond with the low-cost RFID tags. This means that with the technology, users wouldn’t have to wait for confirmation with the system’s ability to read and interprets the signals. The RFID tags come in very cheap and are widely used even in many non-electronic objects like paper and electronic devices, and so on.
“You can create interactive objects that are essentially disposable and perhaps even recyclable,” said Dr Scott Hudson of the Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute as reported.
Also the cheap RFID tag works on designs coupled with a system to develop interactive storybooks. However, the system may not find itself in the same level of effectiveness for more sophisticated structures and complex gaming scenarios but it does deliver the expectations for tic-tac-toe and Pong games.
“By making it easy to add RFID-based sensing to objects, RapID enables the design of new, custom interactive devices with a very fast development cycle,” Disney Research scientist Alanson Sample said as quoted by Engadget.