Monday, 7 February 2020

TAGGED and bagged

Radio frequency identity chips - get used to them. They are tiny micro chips that send out a unique signal that can be read by scanners. RFID technology has been around for a while but only now is it becoming commercially viable to actually implant them in merchandise. Clothing firm Gary Weber are now planning to make them part of their label. That way they can carry out quick stock checks at suppliers suspected of running off extra garments for the counterfeit market. Read more on Gary Weber here. The RFID chips are no bigger than a grain of sand but still cost around 9 cent each. Pfizer are using RFID on Viagra packaging already, as are suppliers of expensive wines. It's likely to be used in high-denomination currency sooner rather than later ( if it hasn't already). Of course the counterfeiters will start looking at ways to implant fake chips.
Eventually, when manufacture of RFID chips gets even cheaper supermarkets will use them on price tags. It will allow customers walk out with a trolley full of shopping past scanners, effectively checking out in a couple of seconds. The implication for studying people's shopping habits and response to promotions is huge. Of course the problem then will be anyone armed with a scanner can find out quite a lot about you by scanning your bin.


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