Pushing a trolley out of the supermarket with the bill tallied, presented and paid as you leave is a winning application.
Under a €3.2 million FP7 programme, Imec has used plastic foil as the base for thin-film RFID chips.
The RF field of an RFID reader powers up the tag, which transmits its code to the reader.
Problems caused by a gaggle of goods all transmitting data simultaneously have been avoided.
"When the RFID reader first powers and contacts the tag, it transmits a clock and identification data," explains Imec's Paul Heremans, "the tag then uses this data and clock to determine when to send its code. This mechanism for the first time allows implementing a practical anti-collision scheme for thin-film RFID tags."