RFID Tags and their implications

I was just talking to my wife about RFID tags (yes, I know scintillating conversation for a Sunday morning) and we were discussing some of the both cool and scary uses to which the technology can be put.

On the one hand checkout at the supermarket can be as simple as just rolling your cart out the door (assuming you can bag your items in the cart while you shop). It’s just a matter of time until your credit and debit cards will also have little RFID tags as well. So, in addition to scanning your purchases the store also knows the means you have available to pay for them. All you’d need to do is to select from a list of cards that the scanner had detected on your person and the slowest part of the transaction would be having the receipt printed.

Now picture shopping with a friend. It might be fun if they walked through the shopping scanner with you. You could just select one of their credit accounts! 🙂 I know there will be some validation but the idea tickled me.

But one of the best (ab)uses of RFID technology will be when this generation of tech savvy kids come into the living room on a blustery late-December morning and find grandma proudly placing carefully wrapped Christmas packages around the base of the tree. She’ll look up at them and see the eagerness in their eyes and admonish cheerily, “Now these gifts are to stay right where they are until Christmas morning.”. The children nod happily and pull out their gameboy (or whatever the current handheld gaming/PDA/Cellular Phone toy is called by then) and wave it over the base of the tree.

While turning to leave to go play with their friends outside they call back over their shoulder, “Thanks for the sweater Grandma, the size is a little small for me but I can exchange it for a larger one if you leave the gift receipt with mom and dad. And I can’t wait to play with that new Fast’n’Furious XXII!”

One thought on “RFID Tags and their implications”

  1. Well, if I ever have kids, their grandparents will get around that little problem by buying hand crafted stuff from the kitchner marker which therefore will most likely be made by menonites (without the RFID tags).

    Have you seen the TV comercial where 2 truck drivers, get a phone call from the head office telling them they are lost. They agree, but ask how the head office found out, that the answer came that ‘the boxes called us’.


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