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Copyright: 1996 - 2024
    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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FiMS: Smart NFC Location System for Your Car Keys (and other things)

NFC Location System for Your Car Keys (and other things) - RF Cafe Everyone knows if you lose your cellphone, all you have to do is call it on another phone and listen for your personal ringtone. Slightly clever devices have been invented to connect to your car keys, wallet, PDA (anyone still have one?), and other portable items that are easily laid down and forgotten that will respond to a clap of the hand, whistle, or whatever. Those schemes require you to be within hearing or seeing distance of the lost item. Find My Stuff (FiMS) hopes to improve on the idea significantly. Researchers at the Institute of Media Informatics, Ulm University Ulm, Germany, are about to go high tech with Near Field Communications (NFC) and an intelligent location system that will tell you exactly where to find your tagged device. Per the FiMS whitepaper, "An average person misplaces up to nine items per week, most frequently mobile phones, keys, and sunglasses, and spends about 15 minutes per day searching those objects. Yet, in contrast to searching information online, locating physical objects is rarely supported by technology." In order to be fully implemented, "smart furniture" is required which has RFID readers integrated into the frameworks. The inventors hope that furniture manufacturers will routinely include detectors within their products, but adopters of FiMS can install their own equipment. Proprietary "Stuff" tags (NFC) must be attached to any object you want to be findable. Although not mentioned in the article - probably at the insistence of university lawyers - I see no reason why Stuff tags couldn't be slipped into a kid's clothing or a pet collar to keep tabs on location and even to sound an alarm if the homo sapiens, canine, feline, or whatever, strays into a verboten area or is abducted. Please remember you saw that application idea here first because it could be a huge selling point for FiMS adoption. In fact, keep a watch out for any politician buying stock in a FiMS company 'cause that will mean soon FiMS will be legislated into every piece of residential furniture (you think I'm kidding?).

FiMS Architecture - RF Cafe           Stuff Prototype Based on Arduino - RF Cafe

- "Find My Stuff: Supporting Physical Objects Search with Relative Positioning" Jens Nickels, Pascal Knierim, Bastian K¨onings, Florian Schaub, Bj¨orn Wiedersheim, Steffen Musiol, and MichaelWeber Institute of Media Informatics, Ulm University Ulm, Germany.

Posted  August 12, 2013
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