Tag Archives: IoT

Keeping the tags on

I was going to mention Internet of Things in the last post about simplicity of applications in the face of growing diversity of devices.

I’d seen a presentation about IoT that used a retail fashion application. There was an RFID (NFC) tag on the swing tag of the article. If people selected an article the in-store web application could suggest items that would complement because the system knew the type, style, colour, etc.

Once the device is sold the swing tag and the attached RFID tag is removed.

Why? If the RFID tag remains on the item of clothing the owner has a machine readable history of the garment. If they go into a dry cleaners with the garment the operators can ensure they treat the garment properly.

Why not? Apparently the tags are blasted to stop working because of privacy concerns. People might be tracked by their cardie. That’s ignoring the phone, credit cards and any Bluetooth devices that might be broadcasting their ID carried by the person.

For retailers, if they could find out what is the colour and style of the clothing the person is wearing, they would know a lot more about the psychological makeup of the person. Perhaps they wouldn’t waste their time on someone who is in no mood to be sold to.

This can be extended to other items that people purchase. I watched Country File last night. Litter was being collected from a beach left by visitors. If RFID tags were attached to low value items like plastic water bottles and plastic bags then the people who have the greatest environmental impact could be made liable for that impact. This could be via a fine; perhaps even taken directly from the debit card used to pay for those items bought for a picnic on a beach and left to be eaten by a seal who then died.

A plastic bag or a bottle may not cost a lot to manufacture. As we all know now, the environmental impact is getting bigger. IoT enables us to track everything that is making our world a worse place to live in.