I work at the UW Sensor Systems Lab on WISP. You can learn more about the lab here.
Here’s my lab notebook for the project.
WISP can be thought of as almost an extension of standard RFID. RFID systems typically have two devices, a tag and a reader. When a tag is brought close enough to a reader, the tag can wirelessly send information. However, typically, tags are pretty limited in what they send. It’s usually only a unique identifier of some sort.
WISP devices are tags that can do more than standard RFID, performing computation and taking sensor readings on-board. Tags have been made with temperature sensors, accelerometers and even cameras. The data they capture is sent wirelessly to the reader within close range (10 feet with ideal conditions).
I’ve been working on helping develop the next generation of WISP (version 6) which will bring a modular RF board and microcontroller with add-on shields for various sensor types. Additionally, this next generation will come with greater support for usable readers.