Thesis Defense: RFID as a Key Enabler of the Internet of Things: Localization and Communication

Speaker: Jue Wang , MIT

Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Refreshments: 9:45 AM

Public: Yes

Location: 32-D463 Star

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Host: Dina Katabi, MIT-CSAIL

Contact: Mary McDavitt, 617-253-9620,

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Reminders to:, jue_w@MIT.EDU

Reminder Subject: TALK: Thesis Defense: RFID as a Key Enabler of the Internet of Things: Localization and Communication

Abstract: Each year, billions of RFIDs are being deployed to tag retail goods, track pharmaceuticals, build smart homes, and enable many more emerging applications. However, core technical challenges in localization and data communication remain to be addressed before RFID could reach its full potential as a key enabler of the Internet of Things.

Today's RFID systems can only identify whether a tagged object is within radio range (up to tens of meters) while lacking the capability to pinpoint its exact location. In this talk, I will present a centimeter-scale RFID localization design, and show how to build on it to enable three types of applications: 1) business analytics and asset management; 2) navigating a robot toward an RFID-tagged furniture part and estimating its position and orientation for manipulation; 3) a virtual touch screen enabled by tracing the detailed trajectory of the RFID on an user's finger to reconstruct her drawing or handwriting in the air.

Beyond locating and tracking objects, RFID also holds great potential in forming ultra-low power sensor networks to collect data. A major problem that has challenged this vision is that, unlike WiFi or cellular devices, backscatter RFIDs lack functionalities like carrier sense and rate adaptation, and hence RFID-sensor networks tend to suffer from collisions and inefficient data communication. Instead of considering collision as detrimental and trying to avoid it, I will show how we can transform collisions into a distributed code across the bits transmitted by a network of RFIDs. We leverage this collision-based code to achieve automatic rate adaptation, improving RFID-sensor network reliability and efficiency.

Committee: Dina Katabi, Piotr Indyk, Daniela Rus

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This event is not part of a series.

Created by Mary McDavitt Email at Friday, April 25, 2014 at 1:50 PM.