You may have heard of RFID in passing but never really taken much notice of it when it has been bought up, but the future is full of them affecting our every day lives…. but it may come at a cost.
Lets first remind you all about what it is:
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the use of an object (typically referred to as an RFID tag) applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader.
You may have heard about how WalMart is using it with their suppliers, or how the US army track their supplies around the globe, so we we can see that there is some mega bucks being ploughed into the technology, and with all new(ish) technology the more people that use it the cost of using it reduces and opens the doors for more or further reaching possibilities….
There’s a prediction from the an Ericsson executive stating that all mobile phones will have RFID readers and transmitters by 2010, this would open the doors (so to speak) of a million and one possibilities to what you can use your mobile phone for, for instance, credit card companies could track their users to combat credit card fraud, or lets say it could also open up a new revenue stream for the fruadsters out there with potentially devastating affects.
There are so many privacy concerns over this technology, I have to ask whether it still needs to mature some more until it is really let loose on the consumer…. But where could it be used with the consumer, well lets say that the prediction about mobile phones is true, could the technology then be embedded into consumer packaging? Could you be navigating your supermarket from your phone? Getting product information that would you would usually pick up the product for and be able to see alternatives…. Or what about tapping in ‘eggs’ into your phone and having a store map with the exact shelf in the store along with the stock level.
So it does open up all sorts of possibilities for the consumers as well.
It’s going to be an interesting future and one I will be keeping a close eye on, maybe as one of those technologies that will creep up on your and then suddenly be a complete part of your everyday life…. But what will the reality be for the mobile phones? another one of the 95% of feature that users don’t use?
Author: Gary George
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