VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Polymer transponder. Hand holding an Integrated Plastic Circuit (IPC) transponder that could be used to identify merchandise or track products in the same way that barcodes are currently used. However, transponders can carry more information and can be read without visual contact. They are also rewriteable. Polymer 'chips' such as this could be applied to flexible surfaces such as fabrics to, for example, inform the washing machine of the correct wash temperature. Researchers developing this technology at Siemens in Germany aim to produce such transponders cheaply on rolls of plastic using organic inks to print electronic circuits.
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