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Search Results for: rfid

Gatefeeder Uses RFID To Feed The Right Pet

You got a chubby little cat that bullies the other ones away from their food bowl and eats their portions? I do, and I’ve resorted to locking them up in separate rooms at feeding time, which, well, is annoying. The Gatefeeder features an automatic locking mechanism that is opened when an RFID chip is detected, which allows the bullied cat access to his food at all times while keeping the big bully out. So what you do in a case like this is that you feed the fat cat normally, while you put the little cat’s food in the Gatefeeder; he always has access, the other cat never. Of course this works with more than two cats, and you can order additional tags for them.

A system like this isn’t cheap, at $249. But we’ve heard of pet owners spending ungodly amounts before, so we don’t expect this to be much of a deterrent to the really determined.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

RFID Tagged ‘Bijlmer Euros’ Makes It Easier To Track Where Money Goes

Bijlmer Euro (Image courtesy BijlmerEuro.net)
By Andrew Liszewski

Websites like Where’s George? let’s you track the travels of a piece of currency using their unique serial numbers, but it only really works if everyone who gets their hands on it visits the site. The same idea exists behind the Bijlmer Euro created by artist Christian Nold, but it’s a little more automagic since the bills each feature an RFID tag. Now obviously in order to track the whereabouts of a given bill, every single place of business would need RFID scanners installed, so the notes are designed to be used more as a “complimentary local currency” for the south-east area of Amsterdam, where about 2,000 of them were made available.

A handful of local shops have been equipped with the requisite RFID scanners which then report to a website which allows users and shopkeeps to visualize the flow of the bills. And in order to ensure that people are more likely to spend the Bijlmer Euros in the area where they can be tracked, the participating shops and restaurants offer unique discounts and promotions when you pay with the special currency. I like the idea, but have to wonder if the issue of defacing currency comes into play here.

[ Bijlmer Euro ] VIA [ PSFK ]

RFID Protected 2.5-Inch SATA Drive Enclosure

RFID Security 2.5 Inch SATA HDD Enclosure (Image courtesy Chinavasion)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sometimes passwords feel like more of a pain than a plus, so I like this 2.5-inch SATA HD enclosure that uses an RFID tag to protect your data. Unlocking your precious files is as easy as waving one of the 2 included RFID tags over the enclosure, and you just repeat the motion to lock everything back up again. It’s compatible with 2.5-inch SATA hard drives up to 160GB in size, but I can’t help but wonder if the dirt cheap $16 price tag from Chinavasion is an indication of how well this thing really works.

[ RFID Security 2.5 Inch SATA HDD Enclosure ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Freecom’s RFID Protected External Hard Drive Seems Great, A Little Too Popular

freecom2

By David Ponce

Freecom is selling this 2TB external hard drive for 350 euros. What’s great about it is that it can only be accessed if you happen to be carrying one of two AES-encrypted, RFID-enabled, credit-card sized keys on your person. No key, no access.

The bad part now. For one, 350 euros is a lot of cash for 2TB. But worst of all, it’s out of stock, and no ETA.

Bummer. Still, you can check out the product page and obsessively refresh every day until there’s stock if you’re seriously that concerned about privacy.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Crunchgear ]

Ford & DeWalt RFID Tool Link Ensures No Tools Left Behind

Ford & DeWalt Tool Link (Image courtesy Gearlog)
By Andrew Liszewski

At times RFID technology gets a bad rap, but that’s because it’s not always the best solution for every situation. (ie Passports etc.) However, here’s one example where the technology really shines. Developed by DeWalt, Tool Link is a $1,120 option for Ford trucks that uses RFID tags to keep track of your tools so that you don’t accidentally leave one behind at a job site.

The system comes with 50 tags that can be attached to tools and hardware from any manufacturer, an RFID scanner plus software that runs on the truck’s in-dash computer, as well as a couple of RFID antennas located in the truck’s bed. Once you’ve created a database of your hardware the system can keep track of what items were in the truck at the start of the day, and what items are missing before you leave the construction site at the end of the day, before they go missing permanently.

[ Gearlog - It's 5 O'Clock. Do You Know Where Your Tools Are? ]

Freecom Hard Drive Secure Might Protect Your Data With RFID, Probably Won’t

hard_drive_secure_2

By Evan Ackerman

While sheer paranoia isn’t the best thing to have dictating your gadget purchases, there are some instances where paying a small premium for that extra level of comfort and security might make sense. Freecom’s Hard Drive Secure is a run of the mill external HD, except that you can’t access the data on it without swiping an encrypted RFID card the size of a credit card past the drive. Swipe the card again and the drive locks itself. It’s not too terribly expensive at $120 for a 500 gig drive, although $410 for a 2TB drive it just a little crazy.

What Freecom doesn’t make clear is just how the encryption on the drive works… It sort of sounds like while the encrypted keycard locks and unlocks the drive, the data on the drive itself is not actually encrypted. This sort of system might keep your porn stash safe from your kid brother, but anyone with a mediocre amount of computer experience (which your kid brother probably has) will just remove the drive from the case and access it directly. Even having the locking system on the drive itself won’t thwart someone who is casually determined. And irrespective of the encryption on the drive, having to swipe your card a second time to lock the thing is just stupid. It should be set up so that if the RFID card leaves, the drive locks itself. And of course, I won’t even get started on the security flaws in RFID.

So yeah, there are some instances where paying a small premium for an extra level of comfort and security might make sense, but this is probably not one of them.

[ Bit-Tech ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

RFID To Improve Training On The Slopes

RFID Sensors On Skis (Image courtesy Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft)
By Andrew Liszewski

There’s no question that technology plays a big part in modern sports, particularly when an athlete relies on a piece of hardware like a pair of skis. But instead of improving how the skis perform, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany are using RFID to improve how a skier’s performance is monitored during training. Typically, coaches and athletes have relied on videos of a run to analyze the weaknesses in a skier’s technique, but that approach lacks concrete data or accurate measurements.

But RFID transmitters attached to the front and back of a pair of skis in conjunction with receivers alongside the slope can be used to continually and accurately measure the position of the skis to within 3 centimeters. So at the end of a run not only do you have empirical data about whether or not a skier has drifted from the ideal path, or if they’re carving and cornering properly, but you can even tell if the skis were parallel to each other.

The new system appears to still be in development right now, and it will need to be perfected to the point where it doesn’t affect a skier’s performance or even drag during a run, but I’m sure down the road it will be responsible for the demise of a few Olympic records.

[ Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft - Signal opportunities on the slopes – with RFID ] VIA [ Medgadget ]

DIY RFID Beer Safe Protects Your PBR

By Evan Ackerman

Curious about RFID? Overprotective of your beer? Have 30 minutes of free time? The latest episode of Systm (starring David Calkins, who knows a thing or five about robots) shows you how to make your very own RFID locking system. It costs around $100, which is a heck of a lot of replacement PBR, but you don’t have to just use it on your beer fridge. The setup that you learn how to build is modular, and can be attached to pretty much anything… your front door, your cookie jar, your cat, whatever. Check it out:

[ RFID on Systm ]

RFID Laundry Tags Give Your Socks Some Brains

Cloth Tag

By Evan Ackerman

I do my laundry superstitiously. Some things, I separate into darks and lights. Other things, I turn inside out. Why? Who knows. Laundry is just one big mystery to me. In the future, perhaps laundry machines will be able to tell me how to keep my life clean, and when that day arrives, they’ll be relying on RFID tags like these concepts from designer Samgmin Bae. The RFID antennas provide information about the clothing care requirements to the washer and dryer, while also illustrating it visually through some kind of cryptic pictorial code system. This seems like a great idea, but I’m not certain how it would work in practice… I guess maybe you could shove different combinations of dirty laundry into your washer until you get lucky and hit a combination that’ll all run on the same settings without ruining all of your unmentionables. Good luck.

VIA [ Yanko Design ]