New concept developed to ensure your lipstick is never lost

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rfid

New concept developed to ensure your lipstick is never lost
You reach into your bag, but cannot find your lipstick; where and when did it go missing? Well now a group of scientists have developed a tag that can ensure that consumers know the whereabouts of their cosmetics and other personal belongings.

The concept, termed the IPURSE, is based on the use of RFID tags, commonly used by shops and libraries for stock and inventory control, as well as to reduce the risk of theft.

The concept is a mobile platform that keeps track of tiny RFID tags that can then be attached to personal possessions such as a mobile phone, camera, or even cosmetic products, according to the team of researchers from Dubai.

Published in the International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications​, Mohamed Watfa of the University of Wollongong in Dubai and his team, explain how ‘IPURSE’ can keep track of items a user carries in their purse or bag and alerts them when any item is removed or simply missing from the bag.

IPURSE explained

The IPURSE gives users a monitoring system that can remind them of overlooked items as well as providing alerts when a tagged item is removed from their bag.

The team adds that future developments might link the system to online social networks so that friends and contacts might be alerted if certain possessions are lost.

The discovery merges RFID (radio frequency identification) and NFC (near-field communication) technologies together into a single system.

Technology explained

An RFID tag is a tiny chip that can store and send information using radio frequency signals and even with an appropriate adhesive backing is small enough and unobtrusive enough to be stuck to or inserted into almost any gadget or personal effect.

An RFID reader acts as an antenna for receiving and transmitting signals to the tags. The NFC technology is a short -range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interaction among electronic devices and is faster and more secure than Bluetooth.

Moreover, the NFC reader can also read RFID tags allowing the team to couple RFID and NFC into a single smart system for intelligent monitoring of personal items.

"We are yet to approach manufacturers,"​ Watfa says, "We were more concerned with the research challenges and getting a working prototype which was successful at this stage but we will probably look into that in the near future."

Mohamed K. Watfa et al,"An intelligent RFID system" in Int. J. Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, 2012, 10, 377-395

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