• CMU students exploring uses of chip technology

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    PITTSBURGH - There are chips used to track your credit card activity, in case your card is stolen. Now, a local college is looking at what else those chips can be used to track.

    At Carnegie Mellon University, students are testing out a new shirt. Their sewing skills may not be the best, but it is what they added to the shirt that is important. The students are wearing tech that can make notes every time they slouch or move a particular way. The shirts you a tag that is in many things you already carry with you.

    "An RFID tag is something that you encounter every day," Carnegie Assistant Professor Swarun Kumar told Channel 11. "It's in your wallet because it's probably in your ID card. It's in many of the credit cards. It's also in your bus pass if you use the Pittsburgh city bus."


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    Students wanted to see what would happen if you stitched those tags into a shirt or another object. They realized the possibilities were endless.

    "We're saying, don't use RFID tags just merely as an ID, use it for learning more about the environment, learning more about yourself," Kumar said.

    They say the technology can be used in many different parts of daily life. One example involves your bedroom pillow. The chips can be on the pillowcase, and can track your sleeping habits so doctors can help you get a better night's rest. The chips won't get in the way. The students say they are machine-washable and don't contain a battery. The two behind the project already are talking to several companies, and believe it won't be long before the tech starts appearing on the market.

    Said Kumar: "I wouldn't give away exactly where we're going with it, but the hope is that in a few years you're going to see this in a commercial product."


     

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