Home The Intelligent Wood Project

The Intelligent Wood Project

A frequent trope in science fiction is the idea of our electronic world having come about via alternative means, such as mechanical. (Think Jules Verne or Jim Blaylock.) Another is a kind of ultra-far-future in which processes that still require a panoply of parts are done with semi-intelligent biological processes. (Think Iain M. Banks.)

The future is now! Well, sort of. Combining alternative materials and biological processes, a group in Germany has developed anRFID tag made out of wood.

The Frauenhofer Institute, which is not something from a Mel Brooks movie, developed this wood-based tag to be used in the forest industry, tracking timber for inventory control. Calling it the “Intelligent Wood Project” the institute used lignin, the “resin-like polymer” created during the process of extracting the cellulose fibers from wood, and paper to create a new type of RFID tag. The only part that has remained standard was the very small amount of metal in the antennae.

By making the RFID tags out of the same materials as are being moved, the process is less intrusive. A tagged truckload of logs can be processed with no special consideration. In an industry with razor-thin profit margins, this can be a profound advantage.

In addition to inventory, the process has another intriguing possibility. Such wood-based tags could be used in situ to track log poaching. Should tagged trees disappear, enforcement authorities could search for their distinct frequencies at processing points.

Read more ReadWriteWeb coverage of RFID

Doug fir photo by Greg Dunham | Monster tree photo by Ken & Margie Brown

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.