Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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find it

Stop losing things
  (+2, -3)
(+2, -3)
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All you need is a device that triangulates the position of an RFID tag in your house. Devices already exist that do this. They can detect the position of a passive (no battery) tag 50 feet away.

When placing new tags on items you could enter a description, which you can search for later.

Label boxes: old shirts, the fancy plates, baseball cards

Label folders of papers: 2003 tax stuff, insurance claim papers, birth certificate

And so on..

If the device is stationary, the tags would probably have to be active to have enough power be detected throughout a house.

If you walk around with the device, perhaps in a "search mode", weak signals could be honed in on if you know the general area of where the thing is.

The device could be connected to your computer for direct searching or to make backups. Or just label stuff you might want to find later and then forget about it!

thesteve, Apr 21 2007

RFID http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFID
[thesteve, Apr 22 2007]

Triangulation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulate
[thesteve, Apr 22 2007]


       and what happens if you can't find "the device"... ?
xenzag, Apr 21 2007

       <sp> losing.
csea, Apr 21 2007

       I think lossing is a fine neologism. Losting would be even better, because after losting something it would be lost.
bungston, Apr 21 2007

       I like this idea except that (a) it seems it's been halfbaked before and (b) I'd never tag and index the things I was going to loss. Contact lenses, piece of paper with phone number on it, hope, cup of coffee, waistline, Tippex...
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2007

       I think this is pretty much redundant with "home inventory system", perhaps others - but I'm holding the marked-for-deletion after objections from the author.
jutta, Apr 22 2007

       Goodness, marked-for-deletion? Has this really been posted before?   

       Bigsleep's idea seems to be targeted at the blind, but I would think blind people would be actually be much better at finding things than the rest of us. I would guess that the blind would be better at organizing and finding things, because they would have to be to survive. Us lazy 20/20 people just throw things around and because we're lazy, we want machines to remember stuff for us.   

       The "home inventory system" idea is missing a method for actually finding the item. There is already plenty of home inventory software on the market. How do you find the item? He says, "either tracked by a device or there are scanning modules throughout your place"? What is the tracking device? What are scanning modules? How do they work?   

       I suggested using RFID tags and triangulation.
thesteve, Apr 22 2007

       /Devices already exist that do this. They can detect the position of a passive (no battery) tag 50 feet away./   

       50 feet for a passive tag is a long way. Please show me any one of these exact devices, that already exist.   

       5 feet in the real world is a stretch with current technology.
Texticle, Apr 23 2007

       The problem with RFID tags and triangulation is that there is no system that does this, which - since both technologies have been around for a while - I take as a strong hint that it doesn't quite work in practice, perhaps because of RF interference. That's why I took any system that uses tags on the items and some sort of external scanning mechanism as a match. If you think that there's a real difference, I'm happy to leave this one around.
jutta, Apr 23 2007

       5 foot distance is almost better, just knowing that you were within a few feet of the lost object would be a huge help in searching for it ... if the reader device had a bar-graph indicator of signal strength, you could narrow it down even more. [xenzag] makes a good point, though; "the device" should be fluorescent green, and maybe pyramid shaped so it would tend to stay on top of piles of stuff rather than getting buried.
batou, Apr 23 2007

       If "The Device" remembers where it lost contact with any other item (which would be when you put that item down and walked away, and the signal is lost), then presumably it could remember how to get back, using accelerometers and other what-nots.
Ling, Apr 23 2007


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