Tiny Optical Tags in the Works

Susan Hall

MIT researchers say tiny optical tags they've developed could replace bar codes and be more secure than RFID tags, reports InformationWeek.


I recently wrote about the rising popularity of RFID tags for tracking assets in the data center.


The new tiny tags, called Bokode, use a masked LED -- USA Today describes them as about the size of the @ symbol on your keyboard -- to hold thousands of times more information than conventional bar codes. Passive versions also are being developed.


They can be stamped onto most anything and can be read by any mobile phone camera, according to BBC News. Right now they're more expensive than RFID tags -- about $5 each -- but the researchers believe they can get the price down to about a nickel apiece with mass production. It's not clear when such tags might be commercially available.

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