Remember when RFID
was the next big thing
? When the world couldn't wait to have their luggage easily tracked
at every airport? And when supply chain managers were all set to kick back and let these little tags do all the dirty work? Outside of a few exceptions, the wireless tags haven't really lived up
to the hype thus far, but GE Global Research is doing its darnedest to change that by eliminating a few of the biggest drawbacks. Reportedly, the outfit has developed a battery-free RFID sensing platform -- one that can provide a highly selective response to multiple chemicals under variable conditions -- which could enable a "wide range of low-cost wireless sensing products in industries like healthcare, security, food packaging, etc." Put simply, the tags get their power from the sensor reader, which activates the tag's antenna and the RFID chip to collect meaningful data. There's no word on when these will leave the lab, but the sooner the better, we say.