As with most of life’s little challenges, technology is starting to help with keeping track of our valuables. In particular, RFID chips are becoming increasingly popular and affordable, but Google has plans to expand on the idea further. A recently filed patent reveals a conceptual service that would allow you to pair any object with your phone, for the ultimate defense against losing your possessions.
While RFID tags do a good job of monitoring items, it is quite inconvenient having one dangling off every valuable item. Google’s idea is to use various forms of connectivity — Bluetooth, NFC, RuBee, etc. — to allow electronic items to stay in constant contact without the need for extra hardware.
For instance, the system would be able to keep tabs on your laptop via Bluetooth. The continuous communication would mean that your phone could gauge the distance of any tracked item; if you were to walk away from it, the software would then alert you. For valuable things that are not digitally communicative, such as your keys or your wallet, you could revert to using RFID chips. These small stickers use radio signals to identify themselves at close range, thus allowing Google’s proposed app to watch over non-electronics.
At such an early stage, there is no sign of when — or indeed, whether — Google plans to put the technology in the patent into practice. However, given that all of what is proposed is already technically possible, it seems to be just a matter of time before Android will get its first item-tracking system. For those of us with dreamy heads and mysteriously sieve-like pockets, that can only be a good thing.
You can read the full details of the patent application here.
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