Your Clothes Will Be On The Radio

by MR Magazine Staff

In the early 2000s, it seemed as if radio frequency identification — RFID, for short — was about to take over the world. For better, or for worse. The tags, with chips that could hold up to 2 kilobytes of data and be scanned from 25 feet away, were going to revolutionize supply chains and retailing. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. informed its suppliers in 2003 that it expected them to attach RFID tags to the pallets and cases of stuff they sent to its distribution centers. International Business Machines Corp. ran ads promising a world of ubiquitous RFID in which, among other things, you could stroll out of a supermarket with your pockets full of food and pay for it all automatically. Privacy advocates warned that any burglar with an RFID reader would be able to figure out what was in your closet and how much it was worth. Then, everything seemed to slow down. Wal-Mart’s RFID rollout took a lot longer than planned. RFID tags failed to become ubiquitous at supermarkets. Privacy advocates found other things — such as Google and Facebook — to worry about. The business and tech media found other things to write about, too. Read more at Bloomberg.