Carnegie Mellon Develops Wearable RFID Body Movement Tracking
Right alongside jetpacks and affordable education, practical full-body tracking is something we’ve been expecting for a long time but…
Right alongside jetpacks and affordable education, practical full-body tracking is something we’ve been expecting for a long time but haven’t received. The closest we’ve got are devices like the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Unfortunately that is stationary and fairly expensive. A new development from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University utilizes dirt cheap RFID tags woven into clothing to accomplish the same goal.
This RF-Wear technology calls for a number of RFID tags woven into wearable garments. But, because each RFID tag only costs about a penny, the overall cost is still extremely small. Those tags are also washable and battery free, so it would be entirely practical to embed them in all clothing. The system works with a single mobile antenna to monitor the minute frequency changes that happen as the wearer moves, and uses those changes to calculate their position. It’s a full-body tracking system that could be used in virtual reality and gaming, which is mobile, and which costs very little.
A similar system, called WiSh (Wireless Shape-aware world), can track changes in the shape of an object. This could be used in a “smart pillow,” for example, which would monitor your posture and how you move throughout the night. It could also be used in virtual reality and toys as a means of interaction, as it tracks how a user manipulates a soft interface. Both implementations have a wide range of potential applications, and are so affordable that they’d be almost trivial to integrate.