Imagine, a smart RFID (radio frequency identifier tag) - in other words, not just one that bounces a signal that was received by a transmitter, but one that emanates a unique number (like a RIN (RFID identification number) - like a VIN only for RFID's. I realize they already have RTLS (real-time locator systems) with this technology embedded, but imagine it at a smaller scale. RTLS are currently very large (compared to RFID tags). How would this affect BI? What if it could use Nanotechnology and an embedded power source (like Nanotech reports is possible) to power a unique signal? What would happen to the supply chain for example?
This entry is just a thought experiment.
Well, I was thinking about my can of soda; yes I drink soda, and it's usually Pepsi, uhhh I mean Coke... Oh Well, I drink both - but anyhow, what if the can's paint could contain a RID and a modified RFID that generated signals? What if Coke/Pepsi cared about geographic location of the can? It is possible to send a satellite signal to each MRFID (modified RFID). This would have to be done using Nanotech, for an internal power source, and a transmitter would have to be embedded, or an encoding device.
In other words, since the power source is usually too weak to respond to a satellite signal, it would have to record where it was (latitude and longitude). Every hour it would record it's lat/long in a DNA computing style by folding DNA elements.
Yea, so what, what if Pepsi/Coke could track the can, and what difference would it make?
Well - from a vendor perspective they could start to discover where the cans went when they left the store. Perhaps a scary thought, perhaps not. In any case, it's bound to happen and not just with the Drink manufacturers, but with cars, clothing, artwork, and so on. In fact with On-Star in GM Cars, it's already happening (only on a larger scale). Imagine what marketing power the cola company would have if they knew that on July 4th many of the cans were not only purchased at Wal-Mart, but driven to a remote location where they were subsequently consumed; in other words, a campground.
If the cola manufacturer could figure out how to open a store closer to that location, they might have a boost in sales, or even a dispenser machine or they drive a truck up to the location to sell or promotionally give away their product; all in the sake of loyalty.
But hey, we're talking tracking of the products that we purchase. This raises serious invasion of privacy concerns. I may not want my cola / pants / T-Shirt producer tracking my activities and locations. They'd quickly find out that I'm not worth tracking - moving around the country to present at IT meetings, and working at home most of the time.
On the other hand, think of what Law enforcement could do from a business intelligence perspective - a criminal purchases a set of pants or a mask that's tagged with MRFID, and all of the sudden the FBI has a fix on their location... Hey maybe it's good for tracking wanted individuals. But we'll leave that alone.
What I'm suggesting is the following:
* This technology will come to pass, like it or not - it will happen within 15 to 20 years (or sooner) Because vendors would have a huge increase in revenue as a result.
* Nanotech is already here, and there are limitless utilizations for it.
* Privacy and Ethics are a hot debate in the nanotech industry
* There are some interesting applications for MRFID in the productized world.
Care to share some ideas? Thoughts?
Posted April 29, 2006 4:23 PM
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