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Wheels of Zeus is about Electronic Tags

July 22nd, 2003 · No Comments

NYTimes writes about the new venture of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak:

Mr. Wozniak described WozNet as a simple and inexpensive wireless network that uses radio signals and global positioning satellite data to keep track of a cluster of inexpensive tags within a one- or two-mile radius of each base station. WozNet, he said, will include a home-base station that has the ability to track the location of dozens or even hundreds of small wireless devices that can be attached to people, pets or property. The tags expected to cost less than $25 each to produce will be able to generate alerts, notifying the owner by phone or e-mail message when a child arrives at school, a dog leaves the yard or a car leaves the parking lot.

Wheels of Zeus, which has 17 employees, hopes that its low-power network will fit comfortably among other wireless technologies, including the cheap radio-frequency I.D. tags that are used in stores and factories, and the more expensive and higher speed Wi-Fi and cellular data networks.

While other wireless data networks strive for high speed, Mr. Wozniak’s network, which has data rates of no more than 20,000 bits a second, has been designed to transmit a very small amount of digital information through even radio-busy environments that are subject to interference.

All of the components of WozNet will be capable of receiving location information from global positioning system satellites.

Because the tags can report their location whether they are close to their home-base station or a neighbor’s, the company is hoping to seed Silicon Valley and other large suburban communities with enough base stations to make it possible to easily track objects, even when they move outside the range of the owner’s station.

Tags: Emerging Technologies

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