Posts Tagged ‘RFID’

Shoes With RFID Embedded Generating Social Interactions

Thursday, February 17th, 2011 by Juliana Maria Magalhães Christino

A new usage for RFID has been created to generate social interactions in the fashion world. Besides distribution and tracking processes, the RFID technology is being used to integrate peer to peer, and single to groups by social networks, through a concept platform, called KARMATECH, that integrates RFID technology in a specific line of footwear, suggested to the fashion group WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy.

The concept is the result of a school project from Hyper Island (Advanced Interface Design), and the main idea is to fit a RFID chip in the shoes which can store (via opt-in) information about the wearer delivered through a web application at the time of purchase.

The shoes can trigger a number of interactions powered by associated social networks, when the wearer steps onto mats equipped with RFID readers. A handful of potential applications described include:

  • Triggering a photograph at an event, automatically sending that photo to the wearer’s Flickr
  • Connecting two people on Facebook when they both step on a mat
  • Automatically trigger status updates when within range of a reader
  • Access to VIP restrooms at popular events for people wearing WeSC shoes, or simply entry into the event itself

For more details, watch the video demonstration

To me it seem to be a great way to generate experiences to customers and reinforce the branding positioning, and I also think that the WeSc group should go for it!


What could be bigger than FedEx?

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 by Roberto Saracco

First go and take a look at this article:

Million of packages are handled every single night at the Memphis hub

Million of packages are handled every single night at the Memphis hub

You’ll discover an amazing world, the hub of FedEx in Memphis where in just 5 hours land and take off 200 planes, one every 90 seconds, arriving and going to very corner in the world. In half an hour they are unloaded and reloaded with robots taking care of “packet switching” and those are real packets -;). The latest record was the switching of 16 million packets in 5 hours.

All of this thanks to an amazing tracking systems that knows where each packet is and where it should be in the next minute. The whole site covers 36 square km, a medium size city.

Well, having sad that, what could be bigger than FedEx super hub in Memphis? Today, nothing.

Tomorrow, everything.

Just imagine every single object having a tag and being precisely located from remote. Imagine RFID chips communicating one another in a mesh network that can be accessed from your phone to be able to retrieve your lost keys (that is the promise made by Serge Brin two years ago to be able to find your lost key googling for it on their search engine by 2018). The while word can, and my bet is, will become a super hub.

We are already seeing the first indication. With Apple Mobile me you are able to track where your laptop, iPhone, iPad is and act on it (like erasing data if it has been stolen). In a few years LTE will provide global and micro coverage (by interfacing with WiFI and PAN/BAN) and every object potentially can be on the web ready to be googled.

Imagine the number of services that will become available taking advantage of that. Personally, I can only say that whatever I can imagine now will be only a minuscule fraction of what will indeed be available.

It is a new world, and we are just starting now. Everything has to be invented!

Would you like to bring the virtual world of Facebook into your real life?

Saturday, September 25th, 2010 by Mattia Mialich

I was surfing the net when I came across a really nice video about the Coca-Cola Village, a summer activity for teenagers located in Israel. Well, this year the theme park became more social than ever! Each guest received an ID bracelet, which contained his Facebook user name and password, capable to transmit an RFID signal. Through these bracelets guests “liked” the various attractions in the village as if they were on Facebook, updating their status in real-time. How? By simply placing the bracelet to the readable RFID device next to every Coca Cola Village facility, a chip capable of collecting the users’ data and sending them directly back to Facebook. Moreover, to create a complete sharing experience, just by “touching” the official photographer you had your pictures tagged and uploaded on Facebook. Publicis E-dologic, the firm behind this event, nicknamed this pretty awesome solution “The like machine”. Aside from the obvious security problems that such a technology implies, I imagine it integrated into the supermarket shelves, with the possibility of extending the “likes it” on the products we want to buy by placing our phone beside them… And I do not think it will take a long time for this to happen.

Realization of Social Shopping – Are we going to be ‘Reactive’ or ‘Pro-active’?

Monday, May 10th, 2010 by Apurav Agrawal

“Social Shopping is a method of e-commerce and of traditional shopping in which consumers shop in a social networking environment similar to MySpace. Using the wisdom of crowds, users communicate and aggregate information about products, prices, and deals. Social shopping can also exist in the real world beyond the obvious swapping of consumer stories with people one knows. For example, when you walk into a dressing room, the mirror reflects your image, but you also see images of the apparel item and celebrities wearing it on an interactive display. A webcam also projects an image of the consumer wearing the item on the website for everyone to see. This creates an interaction between the consumers inside the store and their social network outside the store. The technology behind this system uses RFID”

Source –

Image Source:

Lets start with the title of Social Shopping, as of now it seems ‘Social Shopping’ is one of those trending topics, which everyone wants to talk about when the question of ‘Shopping in Future’ is brought on the table and how social media along with all the applications and gadgets, enhance user/costumer experience.
To understand the question more deeply, lets look at the two different facets, one of ‘Social Media’ and the other of ‘Shopping as a trend/need’.

Social Media:

By now it’s a known fact to every one in the present times that the know-how as well as the usage of social media is increasing at an exponential rate. It started as a trend with the young; and age demographics suggest that even the elders have been bitten eventually by the trend.

Its no longer a question of whether you like to socialize or not, it’s becoming more of a daily habit like brushing your teeth, first thing in the morning. With celebrities, sports stars to business tycoons making it part of their life style, its not only fashionable to be active on social media but it also acts as your daily dosage of internal news about the world and your friends.

Therefore it’s common to observe people sharing information, getting reviews, flaunting, exhibiting lifestyle, attitude & personality impressions via social media.

Shopping as trend/need

Shopping can be traced back to many civilizations and it’s a trend that has come a long way over the years. Shopping for humans can be defined as an essential need for their survival, but shopping has grown far beyond the world of necessities.

In present times the trend of shopping is way of living your life. It’s a way of exhibiting your choices, tastes and social quo to your social circle and the external world. Shopping can also be described as a very popular hobby for many and they love to talk for hours & discuss about their shopping baskets, the reasons for their choices and so on.

I am pretty sure that by now we can clearly see the strong resemblance in the world’s of  “Social Media” and ‘Shopping”.

To sum it all up, its the same question that comes up, are we waiting for some specific time in the future where we are forced to react to the massive demand of Social Media and integrate into the shopping experience? Or are we going to be pro-active in our approach of tapping onto this demand, which is a certainty even in the present times? I guess the answer will come to light eventually with time.

Meanwhile here is a link to a case study on one of the very few stores that have thought on the lines of integrating this idea:

Computer backpack for butterflies

Sunday, November 8th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco
Researchers at the University of Washington have found a way to miniaturize a chip to the point that its power consumption is so low to allow its powering through radio waves. The technology used is similar to the one applied to RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) where the beam of radio waves used to read the tag is also used to power the tag circuit.
The chip contains an amplifier, sensors to detect neural activity and the transmission circuitry

The chip contains an amplifier, sensors to detect neural activity and the transmission circuitry

This work aims at creating sensors that can interface the brain to detect neural activity and derive information on what’s going on.

A first experiement has been done with a moth, shown in the figure, to study the neural activity involved in the flapping of the wings. The chip is powered through radio waves. This is very important in human applications, like the artificial eye. Today the chip implanted on the retina needs to be powered through an induction systems that has to be placed near the eye. These evolutions promise an untethered power supply.

A living moth witht the sensing chip attached. The new version will be invisible and will let the moth fly

 It will be interesting to see once sensors will become commonplace in the environment and easily reacheable through radio waves the kind of applications enabled. I am pretty sure that the nature ecosystem will rapidly be flanked by an electronic one, with a miriad of applications we just cannot imagine today.

Just touch it – Part II

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 by Fabio Popovitz

 Still talking about NFC, it is amazing to imagine all the possibilities that new technologies will bring to us. That is the case of the prototype of an iPhone media player that uses physical objects to control media playback. I will explain how: first, a NFC tag is embedded in an object. Then, using a NFC reader associated to the iPhone, it is possible to get the media content direct to the screen. This creates a set of augmented objects that have relationships to different kinds of audiovisual content. The video below shows the prototype demonstration.

[vimeo 4147129]

I am talking about iPhone but there are lots of manufacturers following its same steps in terms of interface, screen and audiovisual playback quality.  Moreover, the industry is going forward on the development of cheaper and more advanced ways of interaction between devices, people and things. So, in a not so distant future, it will be common to interact with objects, getting different kinds of information that come from it, using tags, image recognition or any other similar technology. This way, the mobile phones will probably act as a ‘lens’ to content that resides in the world. And more, they will not only be passive agents at this interaction, they will also be able to input information to the objects, affecting the way they work, according to the owner will.

Just touch it – Part I

Friday, July 3rd, 2009 by Fabio Popovitz
These days I have been reading about NFC [Near Field Communications] and how this technology is going to make our lives easier. At least this is what mobile network operators believe and are working hard for. Many studies and trials are being done around the world and the prospects are very good.


NFC has been used in contactless smart cards, typically in transport and building access applications. And the expectations are this technology will take place inside mobile phones to create new biz models based on financial transactions. There is no doubt that contactless technologies provide an intuitive and easy method for users to access services, see the case of the rapid deployment of contactless public transport system all around the world. And NFC enables it securely because it is designed to operate over very short distances [about 4 cm].




The use of this technology is very easy: after shopping the costumer just “touch” his/her phone against the POS-terminal, and then the purchase is approved [a PIN may be required to make the transaction more secure]. I know that you are thinking this is pretty much the same thing you do with your current credit card. And the answer would be yes if we were not talking about a mobile phone service that permits multi-equipped applications, which means that it is able to support several payment applications, delivered by multiple banks and/or payment solutions companies (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.). People won’t need to have a lot of cards along; one handset will substitute all of them. More, if you lose it, you will only have to disable the SIM Card and buy another one, which means no more waiting.




Moreover, mobile phones have some resources that simple cards don’t, such as display, keyboard and connectivity, which mean they can support a lot of additional services provided by the card issuing bank, or financial institution, or even the mobile network operator and other services providers.


This technology will enable a lot of new business opportunities that will offer consumers a better shopping experience. Therefore, consumers will spend more and revenues will be enhanced. It will be good for everybody.


In the next post I will bring more services provided by this promising technology. For a while, watch this video from YouTube.

Authenticity proof for brand products by new identification technologies

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 by Shuhei Kuwabara

Tuscany Wines, Prosciutto di Parma, Gorgonzola Cheese, etc. There are so many famous and traditional foods in Italy. These are very well known all over the world and people recognise them as luxury, sophisticated, high quality, safe, and they recognise also additional value for these products. And also think for sure it must be real and authentic products… However, how could we distinguish the authentic products and counterfeits?

Il Prosciutto di San Daniele, one of the most famous Italian ham producer in San Daniele del Friuli, which is located in north-eastern Italy, has started applying RFID tag for verifying product’s authenticity. It can also provide product’s information; such as material information (this case pig) and production process. According to the developer of this RFID technology, the purpose of this tagging is to protect their consumers so that they can see the entire process of production since when pig was born and finally to produced as ham.

Actually this kind of technology is very important to protect authenticity of products and their customers as well. Because nowadays we are even facing on “Counterfeited Foods”, simply said, copy foods. These products don’t have good quality of the ingredients and neither have enough hygienic standards. That is why, this kind of Brand products are required to be protected by technology and proved their authenticity and quality.

But also there are some problem, for example;

  1. Price of introducing this technology

It costs 50,000 euro for each prosciutto producers

  1. Possibility of counterfeiting even RFID tag

The initial price is actually still expensive for small food producers to introduce this system. That is why the system will have to be more familiar and have accessible price.

About counterfeiting, nowadays plenty of counterfeiting products are produced in some countries and exported as secret and sold in all over the world. The most threaten issue is that more and more these products have been similar with the real one. And also their inside, such as technologies or ingredients, are made as very similar and with less price. It means that it can be possible that even this kind of electronic identification could be counterfeited.

Then, the identification to protect their products and customers could be possible to be a fake identification by counterfeited identification. That is why, it will have to be necessary to identify the identification of these brand products if it is really reliable authentic one or no. Also for the manufacturers, it will have to require to make sure the security of their identifications.  

Let’s go shopping?

Thursday, May 7th, 2009 by Fabio Popovitz

These days, we’ve been discussing about how retailing will be in the future. The internet is making shopping experience easier: you enter a website, pick the products, fill in a form with your credit card number and, voila, your shopping is done…very soon you will receive the things you just bought, in your sweet home. So, if retailers want to survive in this underdog struggle against internet, they should provide people additional services, which aren’t available on the internet [yet].  

Customers want to feel special, they want to have an exciting shopping experience and if you provide them what they want, they will go to your store more frequently, spend more time inside, buying more and even willing to pay more for that. A good example of how to make shopping more interesting is Sisley Store in London, which is under Benetton umbrella. The communication research center of the Benetton Group, Fabrica, came up with the idea of a new Fitting Room, that was able to “understand” the clothes people were trying and provide a video of models cat walking with the same clothes. This kind of smart dressing room has been available at Mitsukoshi, a department store in Japan, since 2006 and in that time apparel department sales increased 15 percent over the previous year, while wasted stockroom trips to check inventory were reduced by 25 percent.


 As people enter the dressing room, an RFID reader detects the
tags affixed to the products and gives product information, offers alternate sizes and compatible


Furthermore, try to use your imagination and suppose you go to a clothing store and when you are trying a blouse in the fitting room, a smart mirror suggests you what kind of accessories, shoes, pants, skirts, etc., would match these clothes. And, maybe, if you already bought something from that store before, the mirror would point out other clothes that look good with them, in your favorite colors and size. Moreover, you want to know other consumers’ reviews about these clothes, you click a button and you can see them. Nonetheless, why should you only trust on strangers’ opinion? Why don’t you ask your friends opinion? Then, you click the mirror [which is already synchronized with your phone contacts] and, voila, your image is transmitted to your friends and they can tell you their opinion. These are examples of how shopping could be more exciting for people and how retailers could take advantage of smart tags on their products, sensors, touch screen mirrors, internet connection, and other technological stuff to enhance consumer shopping experience.








































Internet 2020 The Internet with Things: Enabling Factors – Part 1

Sunday, April 5th, 2009 by Roberto Saracco

Embedding of processing power and of communication capabilities is at the core of the Internet with Things (as it is for Internet of Things). In general, though, the processing power required on the object is very limited since it is sufficient to have a unique identity displayed and work through this identity to provide information and service related to that object. Most objects, indeed, will have just this identity etched or printed on them in form of an RFID. Communication is enabled by the reader that is also providing the required energy. The availability of printed electronics to “print” RFID on objects is probably one of the most significant enabling step in this direction. This is likely to become mass market (e.g. usable in all supermarkets through hand held printer) in the next decade.

It is also likely that electronic identification will overcome the bar code identification in the production and delivery chain so that any object will be produced with this embedded identification.

Cell phones will be able to read this identification seamlessly.

Another crucial technology is the availability of platforms supporting mash ups. This is crucial to open the market and let offer of information and services based on objects bloom.

The access to information and services, associated to an object, needs to be a seamless and rewarding experience. This entails reaction time below 0.5 seconds and one click interaction.

To create a marked stimulating offer creation, the price level to engage in the interaction should be below the user perception. In most cases interaction to access the portfolio of offer should be absolutely free. Connectivity shall not be perceived both in terms of delay and in terms of cost.

The fruition of information and services may of course be on a pay per use or subscription scheme and the price will depend on the value perceived by the user. However, to stimulate the audience, a significant amount of information and some services should be made available for free.