I'm looking for a vacuum cleaner attachment. It's a long thing that's like an extra long wand but with a slight angle on the wand part. It looks a little like a short hockey stick, and is perfect for getting under the 'fridge, the bed, and other narrow underneathish places.. I don't use it every week because you don't get a lot of dust under things, but some does roll in so these places need attention now and then. This is the week I want to do that, so I need that attachment.
I can't find the damn thing.
Last I remember I put it in the utility closet. My wife doesn't remember seeing it that, but then again she doesn't remember that we even have such a thing. I don't vacuum when she's home, so she probably hasn't seen it since she bought it.. but darn it, I need it!
Why don't I vacuum when she's home? Because it's too traumatic for both of us. She thinks I do a lousy job vacuuming. Compared to her efforts, that's probably true, but I do a better job than a cleaning service would do and a heck of a lot better than not doing it at all.
Imagine if everything you owned had an RFID tag. With appropriate software and hardware, you could walk around scanning for stuff and see descriptions (or pictures - why not?) of everything hiding in the closet or up on those dark shelves we never go to. I still might not be able to find the darn thing instantly, but at least I'd be able to narrow down its physical location.
As you'd expect, I'm hardly the first person to think of this, and there are devices already on the market. Unfortunately they seem to have limited capacity and some charge ridiculous prices for tags: an RFID tag should be a couple of bucks at most and less than a dollar in volume, yet one device sells tags at $22 each!.
Limited storage capacity wouldn't be a problem if the device could be programmed from a computer. I'd store my master list on my computer, and if I've misplaced something, I'd program the hand device to seek that item.. and then go searching with it to guide me. This is something I'd willingly pay $100.00 for as long as it could be used with any RFID tag.. and of course these would need to be passive tags (not requiring their own battery to work), though I'm told newer tags have a battery life of ten years.. not long enough - if it can't outlive me, it needs to be passive.
I did not find anything like that in my Google searches, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.. or if it doesn't, once again I'll say what I always say: feel free to take this idea and go make a bazillion from it.. just send me one for free, OK?
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-07-11 Anthony Lawrence
Anyone who puts a small gloss on a fundamental technology, calls it proprietary, and then tries to keep others from building on it, is a thief. (Tim O'Reilly)