As far as wireless technologies go, radio-frequency identification (RFID) is one of the oldest. Patented in 1983 by the late British inventor Charles Walton, RFID made it possible for new, cutting-edge tech such as near-field communication (NFC) to exist. As with NFC, RFID chips are used to store information digitally, which can then be shared between objects through electromagnetic fields and radio waves. It may not be sexy, but companies see real potential in the technology, no matter how old. It’s no surprise, then, that over the past few years RFIDs have become ubiquitous in a wide range of industries, including travel, sports and one you wouldn’t expect: fashion. Brands and retailers from that world, known for being generally slow to embrace technology, have started adopting RFID for different purposes. Some are using it to help them combat counterfeit products, others to make in-store shopping seem more futuristic. And these are just a couple examples. Last year, for instance, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff began rolling out an RFID-powered self-checkout feature at her boutiques. The system consists of RFID tags tied around items, like a garment or handbag, and smart tables that can read them and send product information to a nearby iPad. The idea is to let you pay faster than you would with a traditional cashier. Read more at Engadget.