RFID

RFID technology has many uses: kid tracking, art gallery tours and, of course, body modification. Since RFID chips are already being used to enhance the shopping experience, it's not terribly surprising they're being put to use in target marketing in a pilot program in Seattle. What is sort of surprising is that the initial target market is the visually and hearing-impaired shopper who, upon entering a wireless "activation zone," will be regaled with announcements and product offers from speakers mounted on store facades or nearby phone booths. Users will carry an active RFID tag, about the size of a stack of four credit cards, that will transmit a unique signal when it comes within 100 feet of the receivers installed in the six activation zones throughout the city. All of the customer's data can (again, no surprise) be mined and sold to retailers for use in mapping customer behavior. We're all for assistive technologies, but this system doesn't seem so much "assistive" as it seems "opportunistic."

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RFID to be used in target marketing to the visually and hearing-impaired