August 11, 2004
Researchers from Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) have developed the Radio Frequency Identity and Geometry system consisting of a handheld projector that shines dynamic images onto physical objects of the user's choice, and RFID tags augmented with photosensors, which identify objects for the projector.
The tags are accurate to within a millimeter, and can be used to find objects and detect when objects have been moved.
If an object has several radio tags attached to different surfaces, the system can be used to track the object's orientation and shape, for example detecting when an object has shifted or been deformed.
The projector can also capture an image of an object or sets of objects including tag information, then project the image on another surface. This cut-and-paste capability is useful for interacting with tags that are in places that are not suitable for projections.
A warehouse worker could view the tag information on a set of objects and digitally mark the tags of selected objects with instructions for coworkers. Or a librarian could identify which books are upside-down or out of order.
Within a decade most objects will be RFID'd. "Adding a geometric notion will be appealing for several applications," including factory automation, health care, entertainment, and even surveillance, said Ramesh Raskar, a research scientist at the MERL.
The researchers' next step is to put together a system that would allow more than one reader to work with a set of tags at a time.