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The Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform (WISP) project explores an approach to provide power for sensor networks, based on passive radio-frequency-identification technology. In traditional passive RFID systems, ambient high-power readers interrogate battery-free devices, called tags, that modulate the interrogating signal to communicate a unique identifier to the reader. The WISP project aims to augment RFID tags with sensors so that tags can also send sensed data to the readers. We call these augmented tags wisps. Basing wisps on RFID has some immediate advantages. RFID tags communicate to ambient readers over distances of up to eight meters. Solutions compatible with RFID standards might therefore find quicker acceptance and see faster improvement than other solutions.