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Smart Tagging for Everyday Objects
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Engineers have developed printable metal tags that could be attached to everyday objects and turn them into “smart” Internet of Things devices. The metal tags are made from patterns of copper foil printed onto thin, flexible, paper-like substrates and are made to reflect WiFi signals. The tags work essentially like “mirrors” that reflect radio signals from a WiFi router. When a user’s finger touches these mirrors, it disturbs the reflected WiFi signals in such a way that can be remotely sensed by a WiFi receiver, like a smartphone. The tags can be tacked onto plain objects that people touch and...