Joseph Shapiro from the National Public Radio reports that senior citizens at the Oatfield Estates in Milwaukie, Oregon wear RFID badges to allow designated officials caring for these senior citizens to know their whereabouts and activities.
Last winter, Lydia Lundberg and her husband, Bill Reed, flew from the assisted-living facility they own in Oregon and came to Washington, D.C. for the White House Conference on Aging.
In a busy exhibition hall, they opened up their oversized laptop computer and showed off the technology they had been working on for the past five years. It allows them to track the several dozen residents who live at Oatfield Estates.
Residents wear badges that signal to the dozens of infrared and radio-frequency sensors inside the facility and outside on the grounds. That allows Lundberg and Reed — and others — to track residents at the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In the exhibit hall at the White House conference, Lundberg pulled up the tracking information on a resident named Ray Croft. With her computer, three time zones away and on the opposite side of the country, Lundberg was able to check on Croft’s location and his activity — at that exact moment.
“I can go to a live view,” Lundberg said, “and it shows that he’s in bed.”
The computer doesn’t show live pictures of Croft; the facility does not use video cameras. But a device hooked to Croft’s bed sends data readings to the computer.
“The icon shows he’s snoozing away, and he has been in his room for 12 hours,” Lundberg reported.
A graph popped up on Lundberg’s laptop, with a blue line going up and down.
“Basically this is his breath, what you’re looking at,” said Lundberg. The graph fluctuates with each breath Croft takes, so Lundberg could even tell when he was breathing out and when he was breathing in.
One only can imagine where RFID will be used next…
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