PaperID: A Technique for Drawing Functional Battery-Free Wireless Interfaces on Paper

Hanchuan Li, Eric Brockmeyer, Elizabeth J. Carter, Josh Fromm, Scott E. Hudson, Shwetak Patel, Alanson Sample
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PaperID is a RFID-based technique for enabling wrieless and battery-free customizable input interfaces on paper for IoT applications


We describe techniques that allow inexpensive, ultra-thin, battery-free Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to be turned into simple paper input devices. We use sensing and signal processing techniques that determine how a tag is being manipulated by the user via an RFID reader and show how tags may be enhanced with a simple set of conductive traces that can be printed on paper, stencil-traced, or even hand-drawn. These traces modify the behavior of contiguous tags to serve as input devices. Our techniques provide the capability to use off-the-shelf RFID tags to sense touch, cover, overlap of tags by conductive or dielectric (insulating) materials, and tag movement trajectories. Paper prototypes can be made functional in seconds. Due to the rapid deployability and low cost of the tags used, we can create a new class of interactive paper devices that are drawn on demand for simple tasks. These capabilities allow new interactive possibilities for pop-up books and other papercraft objects.