Tuesday, 23 Mar, 2010 Technology
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New Type of Tags Could Replace Bar-Codes

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The bar-codes may soon become a thing of the past due to a new type of technology that would allow shoppers to simply pass their cartload of products through a special scanner which would instantly read all the items in the cart, sum everything up and charge the person's account.

A team of researchers from Rice University teamed up with a group of scientists from Sunchon National University in Korea, led by Gyou-jin Cho, a professor of printed electronics engineering at Sunchon, to work on the radio-frequency identification technology that implies the use of carbon-nanotube-infused ink that would be applied in ink-jet printers.

Researchers intend to use the ink to create thin film transistors, the main component of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be printed out, either on paper or plastic. According to Cho, the new technology has the potential of hitting the market over the next five years, informs Gizmag.

Improved versions of the RFID technology will offer the retailer detailed information on every package in the store and its location.

Although RFIT are currently used in some industries, these are based on silicon. The new tags will be printed on paper or plastic, which would considerably reduce costs.

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