Electronics patent of the month: Anti retail-theft RFID antenna and reader

The high street and its retailers are facing growing challenges, as highlighted by the recent demise of companies such as Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster. For 'bricks and mortar' retailers in general, 'shrinkage' (more commonly known as shoplifting) is a major concern which is not faced to the same degree by 'click and order' retailers.

GPS with an accuracy of 2m has been developed by researchers at Carlos III University in Madrid.

The researchers added three gyroscopes and three accelerometers to a conventional GPS system to pinpoint the position of cars in cities to within 2m.

Unaided GPS has an accuracy of 50m in cities because of the ‘Urban Canyon’ effect of signals being affected by buildings, say the researchers, or an accuracy of 15m in open countryside.

The researchers are now working to put the same system into smartphones exploiting the normal sensor range of smartphones which includes an accelerometers, gyroscope and magnetometer as well as the WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular communications links.

See also: What is… the Android Sensor Manager?

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