Tag That Bag: Mobile RFID Tagging for Purses or Personal Items

RFID_chipThere is nothing more frustrating than losing your keys or wallet. Misplacing keys or wallets usually causes a lot of aggravation and time wasted looking for them. A lot of people go around and around looking for the things in the same spots hoping they would mysteriously reappear. This can lead to being late for work or school, being locked out of a car or house or not being able to pay for items. Sometimes the worst part is not knowing if the item was just misplaced or was stolen.

If you are the type of person who sometimes loses keys, wallets and other personal belongings, you might be interested in this new application for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. RFID technology can now be used to track items in a purse or bag, such as wallet, keys, laptop, camera, cosmetics and other personal belongings. RFID is a wireless system that uses electromagnetic fields for automatic identification and tracking. Using RFID on personal belongings allows people to track their lost items.

Let us take a look at the latest systems that use RFID technology to keep track of personal belongings in bags or purses.

The IPURSE Concept

The IPURSE Concept uses both RFID and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology together to create a smart monitoring system that keeps track of contents in a bag. The contents of the bag are tagged with small RFID chips. When an item is moved or is missing, an alert is sent to the NFC-enabled phone. NFC technology allows mobile devices to communicate with RFID tags.

The IPURSE Concept was created at the faculty of Computer Science and Engineering in the University of Wollongong in Dubai. It was developed by students Rashida Daruwala and Manprabhjot Kaur, led by assistant professor Dr. Mohamed Watfa. They initially came up with this idea when they noticed that a lot of students were losing their items and had no way of retrieving them. They realized that RFID technology can be a solution to his problem that most people have. They have already patented the application and different international companies have already expressed interest in this technology.

The team also created an online calendar that can be synched with Hotmail or Gmail that can track the activities you do with the items you need with them.

The IPURSE research paper in the International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies is available to read online.

The Deja Vu RFID Purse Concept

An RFID purse made by university students prove that technology can be fashionable as well. The Deja Vu Purse, designed by Nicole Tariverdan and Heidi Chen, students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, keeps track of the belongings in it in a fashion forward way. Deja Vu means “already seen” in French. What makes this bag different from other RFID bags is how stylish the bag is.

The bag technology is based on the Lilypad Arduino system, a microcontroller board for e-textiles and wearables. The Lilypad Arduino can be sewn onto any fabric and can be programmed with the Arduino software.

This intelligent purse can detect up to 5 RFID-tagged items, and tells if the items are put in or taken out. The bag scans and keeps track of the items automatically. The status of the items can be checked by squeezing a button. The LED system that lights up to show if the items are there. You can read the Powerpoint presentation here. They also have the Arduino code available at their blog.

High Tech RFID Tag Alarm System

SpyTek Products sells the High Tech RFID Tag Alarm System that monitors belongings, preventing theft, loss or forgetting an item. The RFID tags are small enough to fit on most things. The tags can be attached in a number of ways, either by adhering them to items or strapping them onto items. To keep track of the belongings, simply turn it on and set it to monitor. The monitor can either be clipped on to a belt or attached to a key chain. It is 1.75 x 1 inch x 10 inch and small enough to fit into a pocket or purse.

There are two ranges to choose from: a long range of up to 100 feet or a short range of up to 30 feet. When the items go out of the chosen range, called the safety zone, the alarm gives out a strong audio alert within a few seconds. The battery lasts up to 6 months and is included with the product. It is a standard watch-type battery so it is easy to find once it needs to be replaced. To stop the monitoring, there is a one button sleep mode. The High Tech RFID Tag Alarm System can be purchased at the PI Mall for $59.95.

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