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Smart Paper Listens To Commands And Reacts To Movements


Soon, pens and crayons might become a thing of the past. They have already been swapped with styluses for tablets and phones in situations where simply using your fingers on the touchscreen interfaces is not enough. Now, smart paper could make them completely useless #objectmagic

Researchers from the University of Washington, Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University have found a way to connect hard, phyisical paper with the IoT environment through small radio frequency tags that can be printed or stuck on said environment. These RFID tags can make simple paper interactive, letting you answer exam questions by simply touching them or control the music volume by swiping your hand over a tag.

“These little tags, by applying our signal processing and machine learning algorithms, can be turned into a multi-gesture sensor,” lead author, Hanchuan Li said. “Our research is pushing the boundaries of using commodity hardware to do something it wasn’t able to do before.”

The tags function without batteries but can be detected through a reader device placed nearby. A simple one can function as an on/off switch while multiple ones could be used as sliders or knobs. Of course, the technology works just fine on other mediums, but researchers wanted to prove it can be done on the simplest one yet – paper.

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