How does the technology work?Mobile touchscreen devices are common in consumer electronics. Almost every person in Europe has access to a connected touch device such as a smartphone or tablet. The CAPID project aims to build on this ubiquity. Its aim is to develop a new generation of wireless tags that bring something different and valuable to touchscreen technology. We call these tags C-tokens. They will interact with capacitive touchscreen devices and readers — devices and readers that are able to sense certain objects. The objects — in this case the C-tokens — are thin and flexible, metal-oxide tags that can be integrated in paper and plastic products. The tags will send a dynamic capacitive signal into the reading devices.
What can this technology enable?CAPID technology makes it possible to identify and locate low-cost and high-volume products, like cards or labels, and connect them to the internet, just by putting a product on a touchscreen. Every C-token tag will have its own ID. A potentially vast number of tags, all of them identifiable, will make it possible to create unique codes for any product. The tags are incredibly thin and more secure than other machine-readable technologies such as QR (quick response code — a type of barcode read by an imaging device) or NFC (near-field communication — common in contactless payment). QR can be copied, while NFC can be read from distance. The technology also has a much smaller footprint than NFC or QR.
C-tokens will be able to detect the exact position of an object. The high-end version of C-tokens will allow two-way communications with touchscreens; this would make the use of photo sensors inside cards feasible.
The result? A touchscreen token that can be placed in a product as thin and flexible as a playing card, that can communicate securely, that can ‘see’ an object, and that can even offer two-way communications. This could enable a wide range of possible applications. The first applications that the CAPID project is examining are board games, ticketing and secure mobile payment.