Simon’s Backup Weblog

Here comes the localiser

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on July 17, 2006

Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End talks about “localisers”, a technology that goes beyond today’s RFID. His localisers use an ad hoc wireless mesh to link low power sensor and processor chipsets (like Intel’s and UCB’s “smart motes“) attached to dumb objects. You can then use a localiser to find something, in relation to all the other objects around it…

Now HP Labs have produced a chip that could help build localisers…

The chip, developed by the Memory Spot research team at HP, is 2-4mm square and current versions can hold up to 512 kilobytes of data.

HP said the amount of memory onboard the tiny chip was likely to grow in future versions.

Data can be moved in and out of the chip at speeds of up to 10 megabits per second – far faster than is possible with other short-range radio systems such as Bluetooth or Radio Frequency ID tags.

“This really bridges the digital and physical worlds,” said Howard Taub, associate director at HP Labs. “The digital data is attached to the physical object it’s related to.”


All the components to make the chip, including modem, antenna, microprocessor and memory, can be fabricated as a single unit helping to keep unit costs low. HP speculated that once in production the devices could cost as little as one dollar each.

Not as cheap as RFID (where arphids are now coming in under 12c a shot), but a lot more capable…


One Response to 'Here comes the localiser'

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  1. andrewducker said,

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