Things Are Getting Smarter

Ford is leveraging RFID tech to help workers track their tools.

Developed with DEWALT and ThingMagic, Tool Link offers owners the capability to mark and scan high-value tools, safety equipment, material inventories and other important assets using RFID tags. When the vehicle is running, a pair of RFID antennas, mounted in corrosion- and impact-resistant housings on the inside of the pickup box, scan the box for the items on a pre-programmed inventory list.

The data is transmitted to a reader mounted inside the cab and displayed on the in-dash computer screen, alerting the driver if any inventoried tools are not loaded on the truck.

And PC World opines on the near-future of smart objects.

We’re entering the era of “ambient intelligence,” when everyday objects will contain technology that broadcasts data about themselves and their environment, says Liebhold.

As you approach a dangerous intersection, sensors in your car will detect it and reduce speed. GPS coordinates of places unsafe to walk at night will be broadcast to mobile devices.

In Japan, location-based services from GeoVector let the Mapions Pointing Application deliver information on businesses inside a building at the point of a GPS-enabled camera phone. U.S. handsets with the technology should appear by year’s end.

In homes, floor sensors will detect empty rooms and automatically lower the thermostat and turn off lights. Agilewaves, a firm started by ex-NASA scientists, is working with builders to install sensors on electrical switches, pipes, and gas valves. Eventually they hope to offer neighborhoods, subdivisions, or municipalities a big-picture view of their carbon footprint.

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>