A new generation of wireless sensor tags that can notify your smartphone each time your front door is open or make your keychain beep when you think you lost your keys again. With a decent range, a long battery life and a decent price tag the new sensor tags can find a place in many homes.
Being able to monitor different activities in our nearby environment is something many of us would love to do but until now it was complicated, expensive or even impossible for the average person. Enters a new generation of wireless sensor tags that can respond to all sort of events by either beeping (if you would like to locate the sensor) or by transmitting information to an external program (an iPhone or Android application of an online website).
The new system is comprised of two parts – the small tags, each weighing 15 grams and measuring 1.75 inch in height and 1.97 inch in width and a small “Tag Manager” which is connected to the internet using a cable (RJ45) and is powered using an AC adaptor. The system has an impressive range of about 200 feet (in open space) which should be enough for most home applications.
Using the sensor tag system is simple. Each tag is unique and has its own signature. A user can place it in a specific location or on a specific object. for example you can put one on your garage door and get a notification to your e-mail, twitter our Android/iOS push service each time the door is opened or closed. This is done based on the tag internal motion sensor which can also help you keep track of other things being moved around while you are not at home such as artwork or even the TV remote (in case you want to make sure your kids don’t use it when you are not around instead of doing their homework). The tag also includes a temperature measurement unit (-40°F to 185°F) which can tell you how hot or cold it is outside anywhere you are. You can also help yourself locate objects like your keys or remote (although this can only happen in the range of the Tag Manager wireless rage).
Two critical factors to the successes of this new system are long battery life and affordability. Each sensor is said to be able to operate on a tiny coin cell battery for 2 to 85 months depending on usage and response delay setting (which a user can change from the application). As for price – the Tag manager with 1 sensor cost $85 and each extra sensor cost about $15 – the application is free and there should be no extra charges for running the system. Furthermore the California based developers of the system are saying that an SDK is on the way which will allow any developer with the proper skill to add functionalities to the system.
A video demonstration of the system
More information on the Wireless sensor Tag can be found on the following link.
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.
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