Everyone knows if you lose your cellphone, all you have to do is call
it on another phone and listen for your personal ringtone. Slightly
clever devices have been invented to connect to your car keys, wallet,
PDA (anyone still have one?), and other portable items that are easily
laid down and forgotten that will respond to a clap of the hand, whistle,
or whatever. Those schemes require you to be within hearing or seeing
distance of the lost item.
Find My Stuff (FiMS)
hopes to improve on the idea significantly.
Researchers at the Institute of Media Informatics, Ulm University Ulm,
Germany, are about to go high tech with Near Field Communications (NFC)
and an intelligent location system that will tell you exactly where
to find your tagged device. Per the FiMS whitepaper, "An average person
misplaces up to nine items per week, most frequently mobile phones,
keys, and sunglasses, and spends about 15 minutes per day searching
those objects. Yet, in contrast to searching information online, locating
physical objects is rarely supported by technology." In order to be
fully implemented, "smart furniture" is required which has RFID readers
integrated into the frameworks. The inventors hope that furniture manufacturers
will routinely include detectors within their products, but adopters
of FiMS can install their own equipment. Proprietary "Stuff" tags (NFC)
must be attached to any object you want to be findable. Although not
mentioned in the article - probably at the insistence of university
lawyers - I see no reason why Stuff tags couldn't be slipped into a
kid's clothing or a pet collar to keep tabs on location and even to
sound an alarm if the homo sapiens, canine, feline, or whatever, strays
into a verboten area or is abducted. Please remember you saw that application
idea here first because it could be a huge selling point for FiMS adoption.
In fact, keep a watch out for any politician buying stock in a FiMS
company 'cause that will mean soon FiMS will be legislated into every
piece of residential furniture (you think I'm kidding?).
My Stuff: Supporting Physical Objects Search with Relative Positioning"
Jens Nickels, Pascal Knierim, Bastian K¨onings, Florian Schaub, Bj¨orn
Wiedersheim, Steffen Musiol, and MichaelWeber Institute of Media Informatics,
Ulm University Ulm, Germany.
Posted August 12, 2013