Disney finds a way to identify devices and gadgets using electromagnetic signals10
Researchers at Disney have come up with a method to identify different gadgets. In fact, the method is so precise that it can tell the difference between two different units of the same device. The system is named EM-ID because it uses the electromagnetic signals that all devices emit, to identify smartphones, tablets, laptops and any other electronic device or gadget.
Disney researchers say that the system was right about 95% of the time, although some objects were easier and others harder to identify. A toy light saber was picked out from its electromagnetic signal 100% of the time. The Apple iPhone, on the other hand, could only be picked out 72% of the time. Disney does have an algorithm that can predict whether a specific device can be tracked with this method. This will help researchers determine whether a new device can be identified with EM-ID, or if another method must be employed.
This might be the time when you're scratching your head and wondering about real world application for this. Well, considering that the gadget has to be turned on to be identified, it would seem to limit its use as an inventory tracker. Still, Disney says that "EM-ID provides a zero cost method of uniquely identifying, potentially billions of electronic devices using their unique electromagnetic emissions." Perhaps it does have some use along the assembly line, during the manufacturing process.
source: DisneyResearch via EurekaAlert, SlashGear