Many people work in offices that require them to wear or hold some kind of ID card. Usually it just has your name, title and photo on a piece of plastic – but what if such a badge could have many more functions?
A Microsoft Research team based in Cambridge have just announced a new project with the rather long title "An Interactive Belt-worn Badge with a Retractable String-based Input Mechanism." A post on the Microsoft Research blog describes a device as having small LCD screen that can be attached to a belt loop via a string, which makes it quicker to access than pulling out a smartphone from a pants pocket.
The badge, shown above, is seen in a video demoing how it can display a 2D map of the campus where an employee works. The badge can be moved horizontally to pan through the current floor or moved vertically to show the map layout on other floors.
Microsoft Research team member Steve Hodges states that while the form factor and content of such an interactive ID badge still needs some development, there's a potentially large audience for such a product. He states, "So many people already wear a badge on a regular basis—in offices, hospitals, or schools and universities—yet they are currently just pieces of plastic with static images on them. Let’s turn them into interactive devices!"
Source: Microsoft Research | Image via Microsoft