August 13, 2003

It Is 10 PM. Do You Know Where Your Laundry Is?

When things communicate--or at least, broadcast their identity and their location:

News: RFID chips sent to the dry cleaners: Chipmaker Texas Instruments on Monday announced a wireless identity chip for clothing which can survive the dry cleaning process, creating a new market for a technology that is expected to revolutionize the way products--and people--are tracked and identified. The Laundry Transponder, from TI Radio Frequency Identification Systems, is a thin 13.56MHz radio frequency identification (RFID) chip with a circumference of 22mm that can be attached or sewn into fabric. Its plastic casing is capable of withstanding industrial cleaning processes, making it practical for dry cleaners to track items through to customer delivery.

Each transponder has a unique 64-bit identification code, as well as 2,000 bits of memory that can be programmed with customer data. The identification code can be laser-etched on the transponder casing for visual identification, TI said. RFID functions as an evolution of the bar code, but is more efficient and versatile because items can be identified wirelessly. For the retail supply chain, this means, for example, that a box of goods could be added to a shop's inventory system without opening the box and scanning each item individually, since the RFID scanner could identify all the items through the box. The tags are also being considered for other applications where a large number of items need to be sorted and identified, such as EU banknotes and airport luggage sorting systems. The EU and some other regions are planning to embed RFID chips containing biometric data into passports...

Posted by DeLong at August 13, 2003 08:30 AM | TrackBack


I'd never have to sort my laundry again!

"Computer, which hampers have one of my grey socks?"

Posted by: Seth Gordon on August 13, 2003 09:27 AM

Hilarious! People utterly ignorant about the nuts and bolts of the dry cleaning process all of a sudden get very interested when a piece of advanced microelectronics gets involved.

And overall rapid US productivity growth must of course be mainly through microelectronic advances! What about imports substituting US low-productivity manufacturing and an increase in US high-productivity services like advertising, distribution, advanced health care etc?

Do we see a gadget-mafia here?

Posted by: Mats on August 13, 2003 11:51 AM

Hopefully we can trace all of those missing socks...

Posted by: Stan on August 15, 2003 06:00 AM
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