Did I just walk into another RFID bubble?

Posted in Information, Technology on Oct 13, 2009

They are close to everywhere, but we can’t see them. The radiosignals of modern technology. Some are fairly strong and used to transmit your cellular voice calls and some for the mobile broadband. The older ones are there carrying TV and radio for our pleasure and broadcasting experiences. And some are there for the in-house (office & home) WiFi networks.

But what most users hardly ever think about as radiosignals right there all around us are all the tiny RFIDs encapsulated in numerous products. We all rely on them and their existence and abundance. We need them for our mobile phones, our shopping experiences etc. And some dream of making the RFID a part of any physical product. For identification and tracking purposes. Some even dream of RFIDs in the packaging of all food products. Also for easy identification and tracking services. And in our clothes, in our shoes, in our garden tracking movements. On our pets so that we can build access control products even for cats and dogs and bunnies and what have you. RFIDs have even been used for protecting babies against abduction. Some tried using RFIDs for tracking students, and some tested them for tracking Alzheimer patients.

The ethics of RFID usage is a highly neglected topic. From time to time it seems researchers can test their ideas without ever having to discuss the ethics of their projects. And as long as we, the users, and our politicians neglect the potential power and the potentials for misuse of technology the number of applications for RFID will be growing for times to come.

The radiosignals are all invisible. And mostly harmless. But it could be rather fun watching the signals. So how do we visualize radio signals? In a new film by Timo Arnall for Touch and Jack Schulze for BERG such a visualization is attempted. A further step towards Transhumanism or not?

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  • the tuscan cat
    I for one believe that Leonardo (da Vinci) was really smart. And I also believe cats are smart creatures. So when I spotted a nice cat sleeping on a scooter carrying "the signature" Leonardo somewhere in beautiful Italy I just had to "shoot".

    For all you non-norwegian readers: older entries are in Norwegian only. Sorry.