You’re Part of the Global Network
Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a technology that is now rapidly being developed by corporations and governments who see the possibilities and advantages of managing large bodies of objects. By seamlessly embedding an RFID chip into an object, we now assign it a unique identification, allowing databases of specific item/location/relationship information to be generated, giving each object its own identity for real-time identification and tracking. RFID allows for more accurate inventories, automated re-ordering and improved market analysis; data capture that takes place without the need for line of sight or physical manipulation.
This paper reflects beyond the logistical benefits of the technology, and instead attempts to identify the social benefits that might arise. Tagged with an RFID chip, an object will have a unique digital identity and play a pivotal role in joining the physical world with the digital. As this technology moves into products, sensitive documents and even the human body, an Internet of Things will emerge consisting of blogjects, spimes, cybrids, technemes, wearables and smartifacts; networked objects that are capable of communicating what they are, and what is going on in the space around them.
As we see what can only be defined as a truly ubiquitous network environment emerging, it offers up new possibilities where our environment becomes a conduit of information transfer between people to people, people to things, and things themselves. This generates a new perspective in the way we view and interact with the Internet. Now we are caught inside of the net, in an always-on, invisible stream of data transfer. No longer are we outside this mass of information, curating its content in a web 2.0 model of tags, keywords and trackbacks, instead we share the network with objects that become active members of society, contributing not only to the social web, but also the physical world.