Microsoft to ID tag 3D Printed Objects
Kyle Maxey posted on July 24, 2013 |
Do customized 3D printed objects need individual ID tags?

microsoft, tag, RFID, internet, things, tetrahertz, future, information, 3d printingAs 3D printing leads to a proliferation of customized objects, new ways to track and categorize these products are going to be needed. In partnership with Carnie Mellon, Microsoft is developing embeddable, printable ID tags for the next generation of consumer goods.

Called InfraStructs, these minute tags would cost nothing to embed and could be read by terahertz scanning devices, similar to what you’d see in airport detectors. In addition, InfraStructs could be loaded with caches of information that contain all manner of inventory and tracking information, or they could be used in more creative ways.

Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research believes that one day Infrastructs could be used to create customized game accessories with tags dedicated to location sensing, or even a more robust “Internet of Things”.

"The age of 3D printing, when every object so created can be personalized, will increase the need for tags to keep track of everything. Happily, the same 3D printing process used to produce an object can simultaneously generate an internal, invisible tag," say scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft Research.

In the end, Microsoft’s Infrastructs concept is most interesting for the way it outlines a vision of how people and objects interact with computing in the future. As emerging technologies continue to add computing to our everyday environment, having quick access to an object’s information, composition or story could make for a more content rich world. Or, it could lead to a world devoid of natural explorers. For me the jury’s still out.

Image Courtesy of Microsoft

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