Submitted by frlarry on Thu, 11/17/2005 - 16:17
This report from the BBC on one debate heald at the recent World Summit on the Information Society, held in Tunis (of all places), BBC NEWS | Technology | UN predicts 'internet of things', describes the growing use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), embedded in manufactured products to ease inventory and shipment tracking. Similar in concept to the use of iPass on the Illinois tollways, when a product with an embedded RFID tag passes a radio scanner, its ID is registered and the product is tracked and/or inventoried. This technology is having a tremendous impact on human society in at least the following ways:
  1. It reduces the costs of inventory manangement and shipping, while giving a distinct advantage to centralized management.
  2. It gives a distinct advantage to business that can afford to deploy this technology. All potential suppliers, even from so-called undeveloped nations, will ultimately embed RFID tags in their products. Mom and Pop stores will experience further cost pressure.
  3. Ubiquitous deployment may significantly increase the ambient level of radio signals, with largely unknown and unexplored effects on the human genome.
  4. The easy availability of the technology, along with rising levels of world terrorism, will put pressure on governments to require RFID tags embedded in people. All of the above considerations will then apply to us.
If you use a modern cell phone, you carry a functional RFID. Welcome to the 21st century.