disney gadget detectionPlace three identical laptops, smartphones, or tablets side-by-side, all made by the same manufacturer, and each featuring the same specs as each other, and assuming there are no markings or visible identifiers, would you be able to tell which belonged to you? Chances are it might be a little tricky, but the folks at Disney Research know how.

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It turns out that the folks over at Disney Research have created a scanner that can pick out a gadget from a pile by scanning their electromagnetic fields. We’re not sure if you knew this, but it seems that all gadgets give out their own unique fields, even if they are identical in specs. According to their tests of 40 devices, their $10 scanner managed to perfectly identify 30 of them.

The rest of the gadgets were also pretty promising at detection levels above 90%, save for the iPhones which Disney researchers believe could be due to frequency distribution that can overlap other models. So what’s the point of this scanner? Right now Disney envisions that it could be used to help with inventory tracking and asset management.

It is also a cheaper way to identify inventory without having to rely on RFID tags, and it can also help companies keep track of what they have in stock without having to open up boxes to check for it. Perhaps one day there could even be some kind of national database that helps identify gadgets by their electromagnetic fields so that in the event that a device is stolen/lost, it could be used to identify who it belongs to.

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