Texting while driving is enough of a problem that it's been pinned as more dangerous than drunk driving, so it was only a matter of time before we started to see technology better able to shut it down. Now on that list: researchers have found a way to detect when a phone is being used in a moving car, then jam it.
Following the violent kidnapping of former Mexican presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos last year, some Mexicans are now having themselves implanted with RFID tracking chips similar to the one that was supposedly cut from Fernandez’s arm by his abductors, the Washington Post reports. Companies selling these chips to scared citizens are promising that they will help rescuers track them down in the event of a kidnapping.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tech has been employed in some pretty noble causes, like tracking timber to curb illegal logging and tagging animals for study and to better manage their habitats. And now that RFID has criminal-types like poachers and illegal loggers looking over their shoulders, it’s now being deployed against a far more prevalent kind of criminal: you.
Wiring large building for fire safety systems, climate control mechanisms, and other public safety monitoring schemes consumes a lot of wire -- imagine how much feet of copper connects every room, corridor, stairwell and broom closet in a building like the Empire State.
Tagging trees with embedded RFID tags not only helps logging companies keep track of the origin and destination of timber on the truck, but it helps keep companies honest and aids in the prosecution of illegal logging operations. But those RFID chips, unless they're expensively removed from each tree individually before processing, can end up adding impurities to high-quality wood pulp products and lumber further down the production line.
Japanese company NEC wowed technophiles and horrified privacy advocates earlier this year with electronic billboards that use facial recognition technology to identify the age and gender of passers-by, tailoring the ads they display to fit the demographic. Now IBM researchers in the UK are taking that notion even further, taking advantage of new technologies to delve deeper into the personal data of people on the street, tailoring advertisements that can even call the subject by name.
A research effort doubles as a shark-attack warning system
By Justin McLachlan
Posted 07.21.2010 at 10:15 am 2 Comments
Great white sharks have been around for more than four million years, yet they remain one of the world’s most mysterious animals. Scientists know that the beasts have special organs for sensing electromagnetic fields and that their jaws can snap down with 4,000 pounds of force. But migration patterns, which are critical for conservation efforts, are mostly unknown.
Lazy college students are Arizona's latest target of identity-tracking. Students at Northern Arizona University are protesting a plan to monitor their attendance using radio-frequency ID chips embedded in their student IDs.
Bar codes in the supermarket might face extinction sooner rather than later, if radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags can cost just a penny apiece, rather than the dime or more they currently run. Now South Korean researchers say they have the technology to print RFID circuits on plastic film, courtesy of nanotube-containing inks, Technology Review reports.
Tiny manufacturing flaws on the atomic level might cause most companies to throw up their hands, but MIT-spinoff Verayo saw them as the key to creating the perfect anti-counterfeiting tags for everything from Walmart DVD shipments to futuristic passports. The company's radio frequency identification (RFID) tags rely upon no two chip being exactly alike on the atomic level, Technology Review reports.
How will people make dinner in 90 years? If the newly crowned winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2009 challenge is any indication, it'll be as easy as 1-2-3. Cocoon is a fish- and meat-generating microwave, intended as a solution to preserve fishing and farming resources.
Samsung has come up with the flashiest anti-counterfeiting tech we've seen yet: forget boring old RFID chips--the AMOLED e-passport concept looks has a 2-inch, paper-thin, QVGA-resolution flexible display embedded in the photo slot, which shows a rotating 360° view of your head when held up to an RFID reader.
Create a business card that automatically places a Skype call when waved near a computer, or a photo that opens an online video of your vacation. A new kit makes it easy to devise your own uses for radio-frequency ID tags, something that previously only programmers could do.
To combat fraud, each ticket holder's photo and passport information will be embedded in the ticket itself and accessed via RFID
By Brett Zarda
Posted 05.28.2008 at 2:54 pm 0 Comments
So much for scalping tickets. In a country where Big Brother is more than a myth, Chinese officials have taken technological steps to ensure only those who purchase tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies are allowed inside the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. RFID chips in each ticket will include photos, phone numbers, email addresses and passport data ensuring the $720 face value isn’t increased on the street.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.