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5/29/2007
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RFID Provides Interactive Experience At Living Fossils Exhibit

Singapore's largest oceanic park is using the tracking technology to create a personalized experience for visitors.

Singapore's Underwater World claims it has the word's first RFID system for a sea aquarium exhibit.

The oceanic park, which boasts of its status as one of the country's top tourist destinations, recently implanted several species of fish with RFID. The technology helps provide visitors with an interactive experience.

Aquarium workers placed RFID readers on the front of a "Living Fossils" exhibition tank. When the fish move within range of RFID readers, information about the fish pops up on a touch-screen display. Visitors can use the touch-screen computers to find out about each species' name, diet and characteristics

Tagged species include Arapaima, Alligator Gar, Flower Ray, Pacu, Redtail Catfish, Shovelnose Catfish, and Walking Catfish.

"We would address our pets through personalized names," aquarium staff explained in a statement on their Web site. "Visitors to Underwater World Singapore (UWS) will now be able to do just that, with some members of the aquatic family!"

The aquarium is also offering pet toy fish with RFID. Visitors can adopt them, save the names to the aquarium's database, place the toy fish within range of the readers, and watch the pet's names pop up on the touch-screen display.

RFID has been used for fish in natural environments around the globe. Scientists use RFID tags to study underwater ecosystems and understand fish behavior and migratory patterns. The technology is popular in river monitoring systems, where it has been used for about 20 years. It's also used in streams, dams, hatcheries, and in livestock. While most companies are still using tags, one company announced earlier this year that it had created an invisible RFID ink that is safe for livestock and people.

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