The other day I was browsing around the Internet when I discovered an online shopping tool called the Magicmirror. This product may be a breakthrough innovation in Technology and Science. The product relies on RFID or embedded microchips within the tags. The chips in the tags communicate with the system, providing the user with a great shopping experience.

A company in Sunnyvale, Calif. named Kovio Inc introduced advancements in the microchip field. The company released an all printed, high performance silicon thin-film transistor which will greatly improve print quality and reduce ink costs while providing a faster cycle time. The technology inside this product is very advanced, consisting of dropped silicon, metals and insulators for a more precise and detailed print, compared to standard lithography-based silicon.

Providing better print quality while reducing the price isn’t all Kovio’s goal. The company also will offer low-cost Radio frequency identification tagging system (RFID).

Essentially RFID is a tagging system, which contains detailed product information, far more advanced than a traditional UPC code. The information is then broadcast wirelessly, where RFID readers in range can identify the product, unlike bar code readers where the UPC must be individually scanned.

Because each RFID uses serial identification numbers and is able to identify each individual product regardless of the style or brand, stores will no longer need to count how many products are in stock. RFID technology is soon to be implemented an in variety of places like retail locations, hospitals and transportation facilities.

In recent news Dillards Department stores will be installing and using RFID technology keep track of their inventory, resulting to an overall better shopping experience for their customers. As more and more companies adopt RFID technology, our shopping experience will soon get better and companies will be able to quickly realize that their running out of product supplies and submit additional orders accordingly.

The Magicmirror is one of the first devices to use RFID tagging technology to assist in a better shopping experience. The product uses the RFID technology, which is embedded within the tag of the retail products to quickly identify a given product. The mirror can then offer suggestions of similar products or allow the customers to request a size change.

Kovio’s new innovative technology will have a large impact in the Technology and Science industries — and maybe the common world as well. The tech may change the way users interact with machines doing their everyday tasks, like ordering a travel or show tickets or shopping for groceries.

Because developers are able to construct microchips so small so to be embedded in product tags or transportation fare cards, the overall process should provide customers a simpler, more automated way of completing everyday tasks.

This new advancement may also have impact in the science industry, because we are able to reduce the size of microchips which will result to constructing, smaller, powerful robots that can do dangerous tasks, in effort to save lives.

Kovio’s new technologies are eco-friendly as well, due to the fact that they consume less energy than existing technologies. Kovio has already signed deals with Toppan Forms Co. LTD., a large company and Cubic Transportation System that plans to utilize Kovio’s RFID technology in their fare collection systems, all in effort, to better serve their customers. Eventually, I look forward to buying a printer that uses Kovio’s new, silicon thin-film transistors as well as having a mirror or other device that can identify the any given product wirelessly.

About The Author

Mike Preble is a Blast Magazine staff writer.

3 Responses


    Dear Mike, Have you seen our new awareness-raising website fully dedicated to current and future RFID applications, entitled This website is an initiative led by EPCglobal Inc., a subsidiary of the global not-for-profit standards organization GS1, which supports the global adoption of the Electronic Product Code as industry-driven standards to enable accurate, immediate and cost-effective visibility of information throughout the supply chain. It features some of the RFID applications you mention – notably the new shopping experience. You will also find some of the other numerous possibilities offered by the RFID technology (fight against medicine counterfeiting, tracking of blood for safer transfusions, protection of the environment, food traceability etc). Any comments you may have can be posted on the website (section “Contact”) and will be more than welcome.


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