Inventors keep coming up with new ways to exploit RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. Now Kodak wants to use them to probe a person's digestive system.
RFID tags are tiny radio chips that resonate with a single echo when hit with a radio trigger. Kodak's digestible tags are harmless and intentionally fragile. The tags would be covered with soft gelatin that takes a while to dissolve in the stomach. After swallowing a tag a patient need only sit next to a radio source and receiver.
They stop working when exposed to gastric acid for a specific period of time, providing a subtle way to monitor a patient's digestive tract.
Kodak says that similar radio tags could also be embedded in an artificial knee or hip joint in such a way that they disintegrate as the joint does, warning of the need for more surgery. Attaching tags to ordinary pills could also help nurses confirm that a patient has really taken their medicine as ordered.
Read the full edible radio patent application. Via New Scientist.