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I Support RFID

Monday, March 20 2006

I had this idea the other day that I wanted to stick an RFID chip on every item I own in my office and then hook up a location sensing scanner to my computer. I’d map out where every single object was and quickly be able to figure out if anything was missing or out of place.

It seems a bit silly to do, but it doesn’t take much thought to think of a lot of cool uses. Imagine if I had someone else coming in and tidying up my office. They’d find a book on the floor, and without having to know any kind of organizational system they could begin moving it toward the shelf. My computer could make an audible signal that would increase in pitch as they got closer to the “home” of that book, or decrease as they got further away.

Or they could just ignore any system of organization entirely and let me figure out where it is by asking my computer to show me in a mockup of my office where it is.

Or I could do what these guys did – using a projector I could display a pin point on the book itself as it sat on the shelf. That kind of application is truly intriguing. You could be looking at a box of unmatched socks and ask for the computer to point two laser dots on the pair, peeling away layers of other socks if needed. Projecting images onto real objects is pretty incredible – eventually you could have a sort of super intelligent flash light that lit objects up based on your search criteria.

For all the talk of the evils of RFID I think there are as many or more really cool uses for it that are helpful and clever. I suppose the real trick will be keeping the tech cheap enough so that large corporations governments aren’t the only people innovating with it.