RFID, where are we in its development?

24/08/2009 - 17:15

RFID technology is at a crucial point, in terms of standards and policies, regulations and deployment and services. As technology becomes ever more deeply embedded in everyday life and the experienced economies, it can no longer see design as a front-end tool, nor as a social and cultural issues as a sphere that has to mold itself around new technologies. On the contrary, as we see so clearly with RFID one has to hardcode these issues into the systems architecture and see them not as problems, not as drawbacks but as challenges to overcome at all levels of a successful introduction of new technologies. We need to move to debate further from this seemingly deadlocked polarised state it appears we are at now.
Distributing yourself as data into the environment has been the revolving wheel of progress for our conceptions and applications of technology. Location-based, real-time – services, applications to strengthen communities, and the capacity to generate high quality data in information overload, these are all possibilities within a wired connected environment that need serious exploration and research.
Unless we find new ways of scripting new forms of solidarities with digital technology, it seems like we can envisage two roads that both lead to less dialogue, less communication, less innovation, less business opportunities, less sustainable options. The one focuses on control in a fundamentally flux wireless environment. The other focuses on hiding the technological complexity behind ever more simple user friendly interfaces. In both cases there is no learning by citizens on how to function within such a system, thereby, opening up all kinds of breakdown scenarios.