Researchers have created a plastic that relates information on a Wi-Fi signal without needing additional electrical equipment

Researchers from the University of Washington developed plastic objects that can connect to Wi-Fi devices to relay important information without introducing electrical equipment or additional software. 

The researchers were able to accomplish this feat by focusing on the type of plastic they printed and using a 3D printer. This allowed the researchers to wrap the plastic objects around a plastic and copper-manufactured antenna. The antenna sits underneath a small switch so when the plastic object moves, a quick signal is sent to the antenna, which is then relayed back on a Wi-Fi transmission. This technology could sit at the bottom of packaging containers and send notifications to users’ phones to remind them something in their home will soon run out, such as laundry detergent.

While this technology will not immediately get introduced, it serves as a stepping stone to a future where products can reorder themselves.

3D Plastics

Researchers from the University of Washington developed plastic objects that can connect to Wi-Fi devices to relay important information without introducing electrical equipment or additional software. 

The researchers were able to accomplish this feat by focusing on the type of plastic they printed and using a 3D printer. This allowed the researchers to wrap the plastic objects around a plastic and copper-manufactured antenna. The antenna sits underneath a small switch so when the plastic object moves, a quick signal is sent to the antenna, which is then relayed back on a Wi-Fi transmission. This technology could sit at the bottom of packaging containers and send notifications to users’ phones to remind them something in their home will soon run out, such as laundry detergent.