Circulor and analysts from Imperial College London to develop IoT-enhanced QR and NFC tags

Image by Ivan Bandura

Independent analysts from Imperial, led by Professor Julie McCann, are working with Circulor through Imperial Consultants on upgrading current QR and NFC tags with location-aware IoT.


The project is exploring the viability of a solution that continuously monitors and records the latitude and longitude of the tote bag it is attached to. Current plastic tags are scanned by a mobile device, which then records the location of the scan. Being able to constantly monitor the location of the bag and its contents, from the point it is mined, will add an additional layer of transparency and security.


The IoT solution would need to maintain current levels of control, security and ease of use, such as being easy to attach, uniquely identifiable and tamperproof. Furthermore, due to the extreme physical environments that the tags travel through, the solution needs to be rugged, robust, heatproof and rainproof.


Other areas to explore will be around the recyclability of the enhanced tags, how they communicate with the Circulor platform and what else they can record beyond location.


About Professor Julie McCann


Julie A. McCann is a Professor in Computer Systems with Imperial College London. Her research centres on decentralised and self-organising scalable algorithms and protocols for spatial computing e.g., Wireless Sensor systems, Internet of Things, or Cyber-physical systems. She is currently Deputy Director of the UK wide Petras Centre of IoT Cybersecurity, she is Critical Infrastructure lead in the Alan Turing Institute and regularly Keynotes at the top conferences as well as appearing on TV/Radio. Julie is PI of substantive international research collaborations with Italy, France, USA (co-directed the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Cities), China and Singapore (she currently has a sub-lab in Singapore with I2R and HDB). She has received significant funding though national and international bodies such as the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), North American Electric Reliability Corporation, EU FP7/H2020 funding and Singapore's NRF. McCann is a member of Council of Professors and Heads of Computing and is elected to the membership panel of the UK Computing Research Committee, serves on/chairs international conference committees, a Fellow of the BCS, and Chartered Engineer.