RFID Technology – is it really the future?
Date posted: 18th Feb 2015
It was announced the Swedish firm Epicenter were to trial the RFID technology on their employees.
This got me thinking about the other applications that this could be utilised for, despite my incredulous fear of needles. The applications are limitless, not just restricted to entry in to buildings. You could have a tag in your hand that would replace your Oyster Card and your contactless credit / debit cards. How many times have you lost or forgotten your wallet and been stranded with no access to money? Some banks offer a coded withdrawal platform from their cash machines, but this can still be a pain having to find a Natwest (as an example) cash machine so you can access your funds.
Steps are already being made in this direction, with a number of large supermarkets to tag all products with RFID. In some countries this has already been implemented, which reduces the number of staff needed in each store. You simply fill your shopping bags as you would through the store and there is an RFID tag at the checkout which reads what you have in your basket and gives you the total.
For this to be a viable option and to be able to put forwards, I believe there would have to be more than one application per chip. I can’t see vast queues of individuals waiting to get 2, 3, 4 or 5 separate chips injected under their skin. You would also then risk “chip clash” and a confusion in the readers.However, with one unified platform there is then the risk of one platform monopolising the market and putting restrictive costings in which in turn would limit who used what platform.
I also feel there is something very Orwellian about the idea, we’re already watched in the UK by more CCTV cameras than any other Western country, and at what point do we stop? No doubt there would a central mainframe which would monitor your every move – which buildings you accessed and what route you took on the tube – limiting the sense of freedom within an allegedly free society.
For me, I feel this is the direction we are going in and to not embrace such technological advances would be a waste of technology which is already proving its worth in a number of other applications. However, there would need to be clear security and anti-monopolisation measure in place to ensure this viable and gain the confidence of the masses.
What do you think?