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Startup to Pilot Low-Cost Wireless Sensor Technology
C2Sense's passive RFID sensors will be tested in at least three pilots to determine if they can detect specific gases in the real world.
Even before the team tried the nanotube CARD on an NFC tag, Schnorr says, the solution proved to affect the transfer of an electrical current from one electrode to another, based on the presence of a particular gas. Therefore, he adds, the technology can work even without RFID.
The advantage to using NFC or RFID technology, however, is the ability to power the sensor and collect data via a mobile phone (in the case of NFC) or a reader (in the case of UHF RFID).
C2Sense, Swager says, "has established a broad class of materials based on nanotubes" that can change their resistance in response to the detection of a specified type of gas. The latest CARD sensor technology comes in the form of a nanotube that normally is highly conductive but has been wrapped in an insulating material that blocks RFID transmission. When exposed to specific gases, this material breaks apart and the nanotubes become conductive enough to enable a tag to be read.
The pilot taking place this month will not use RFID technology. Instead, the C2Sense sensor consists of material that changes resistance based on the presence of chemicals, as well as electrodes. A cabled connection between the device and a computer forwards the data to a cloud-based server.
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