Tuesday, May 17, 2005

RFID in your toilet

Very interesting technologies coming to your neighborhood in the not so distant future, RFID and Smart Dust. But RFID in my toilet is not the kind of application I was expecting out of this technology! A company is developing a RFID system that can wirelessly detect leakage and overflow, send alerts and shut off the water supply in your toilet!

From the RFID Journal: "Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. There are several methods of identification, but the most common is to store a serial number that identifies a person or object, and perhaps other information, on a microchip that is attached to an antenna (the chip and the antenna together are called an RFID transponder or an RFID tag). The antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that can then be passed on to computers that can make use of it."

Here's how RFID is currently being used. Wal Mart and the US DoD have been pushing hard to use it for their inventory control, and they've been the key motivators to getting this technology out commercially.

Smart Dust technology is more intelligent, and makes use of tiny intelligent sensor nodes that communicate with each other wirelessly, and senses anything in their surrounding environment, such as motion, light, temperature, etc.

So RFID is essentially a subset of the Wireless Sensor Networks (Smart Dust) technology, and so the range of Smart Dust applications are wider and pretty interesting. Military applications to track troop movements and to detect Chemical and Biological weapons, to traffic monitoring and management applications, to better lighting and heating in office buildings, to tracking of agricultural crop conditions, to potentially flowing in a patient's body to detect diseases and monitor the patient's condition.

Wondering how far Egypt is from such technologies? Interestingly enough, one company is getting a project to develop a RFID solution for one of Wal Mart's suppliers. And another startup had attempted earlier to build a Smart Dust-based solution to monitor oil pipelines.


egyptiansally said...

the egyptian airport toilets could definitely use RFID.

Anonymous said...

I have some personal experiences with this so-called leakage detection technology- there are some restaurants in New York currently with these toilets...and well instead of containing flow, they regurgitate-sometimes the signals or whatever get blocked, and then... thank god other restaurants rely on normal WCs.

mostafa said...

Did you ever park in the new Omar Makram underground parking lot ? The yellow plastic coin like thingie is an RFID.

Anonymous said...

Oh, god, the toilets in the airport are the worst. i wonder, though, how RFID would work with a balladi toilet? lol

Ali Sabry said...

You all facinated by toilets while your president is taking your country to the cleaners?

Nothing has changed!

Gen. Mohammed Fouzy said...

You should all be whipped trampled on to consciousness.

Ayman Alzawahery said...

May alah prolong you agony.

Souad Hosney said...

I will come back to haunt you all!

Mohamed said...

Hey Mr. Egyptian celebrities! Just stick with one identity. You're probably living away from Egypt and missing all the whipping and flogging. Stop complaining yourself and come join us will ya. Alberta is too far and cold.

Hatem said...

Hello Mohammed!! I know this is years ago, but I did come across your RFID blog post while doing a search on RFID's in Egypt! I'm actually looking for companies involved with RFID's in Egypt,.. Any clues anyone?! Thanks loads :-)!!

vivek said...

I am in Egypt and need a sloution to fabric logistics. We are making garments. Can someone help in getting me the lead. Is someone supplying the technology in Egypt?


Mikey said...

This actually a very creative implementation of RFID, it will make the janitor or building management to act promptly and faster.

RFID Tracking