Tag, Anyone?

July 16, 2013
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The nature of data is changing. At the moment organizations gather data from many different sources including loyalty cards, machine logs, sensor arrays, and social media sentiment analysis (even if they don’t always analyse the data enough).


The nature of data is changing. At the moment organizations gather data from many different sources including loyalty cards, machine logs, sensor arrays, and social media sentiment analysis (even if they don’t always analyse the data enough).

But what about the future? I recently read a very interesting book ‘Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing’ by Adam Greenfield or, as he puts it, “the colonization of our everyday life” by technology. He talks about the many different ways computing will change and spread from discrete devices to existing within the very fabric of everyday life. 

This is happening quickly: soon clothing with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags that let climate controllers know of your preferences in temperature and humidity will be a reality.  Floors that can monitor foot fall and your presence in the room could have advantages such as for the old and infirm – if they fall the floor can sense it has happened and notify the emergency services. As I said, don’t imagine this is all in the future: right now in Japan they have fitted RFID tags in some items of clothing so that when an elderly person uses a pedestrian crossing it keeps the light red for traffic for a few seconds longer.

RFID technology eliminates the necessity for line-of-sight scanning as the tag itself contains an antenna that can transmit the information to a receiver.

Here are some examples of where RFID technology is already being used.

 

RFID data

One of the major limiting factors holding back this type of technology has been the lack of enough ip addresses, but with the arrival of IPV6, the next iteration of the internet, this restriction will be removed.  Now potentially everything in the world could have an IP address. Coupled with the way RFID technology is becoming cheaper and more readily available this is a movement that will not go away.  It’s the arrival of the internet of things.Obviously this may raise ethical and privacy issues – very topical considering the recent news concerning the American National Security Agency and the PRISM Project.

Organisations are already struggling with the data they hold now and the phrase “we are data rich and information poor” has never been more correct. We are only going to get more data it’s just a case of how we use it. So prepare yourself and make sure the data you hold works for you and gives you the insight to help you make quality business decisions.