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Disney Research Studying Battery-Free Paper Toys with RFID for their Theme Parks

May 17, 2016 05:43 AM EDT

Today in this 'space age', even the toys children play have to be technologically advanced. Disney is studying a new paper toy technology which connects paper to the Internet using RFID technology.

The radio frequency identification (RFID) is used in various ways. But Disney explored the idea of using RFID to introduce a new breed of battery-free yet interactive paper toys.

RFID works because it is made up of a microchip and transmitter just like how an antenna sends and receives signal from a transmitter. The reader will receive the signal and then execute the command.

The technology offered by RFID is fascinating because it is 'tagged' and can instantly connect to computers. It can also be read by the receiver wirelessly even without the use of batteries.

The RFID technology can be used to make things "smart."

"You can create interactive objects that are essentially disposable and perhaps even recyclable" said Scott Hudson, a professor at Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute in an interview with Newsfactor Business Report.

Disney researchers have experimented on using RFID technology in various scenarios which include making a move in a game of tic-tac-toe, slider motions with controllers and movement with hand-held toys which directly interacts with a nearby computer.

Disney and Carnegie Mellon University are doing their research on RFID applications because "By making it easy to add RFID-based sensing to objects, RapID enables the design of new, custom interactive objects with a very fast development cycle" said the Disney research paper.

Currently the RFID technology is available with Disney "magicband" wristbands, and they use RFID tags to let visitors check into rides, food establishments and access other personalized experiences inside Disney.

And with the company further enhancing their RFID technology, we can expect more of these interactive applications soon.


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