Thursday, January 24, 2008

Can Google Find My Keys?

My keys always go into the same drawer with my wallet, my cell phone and my iPod. Always that is, until I change clothes mid-day and have keys in my pocket. On these occasions, my keys might end up on the dresser, in my other pants, on the floor...

And a question came to mind: "What if Google could find my keys?"

A few moments later, it hit me: Google will be able to find my keys in the not too distant future! Not only will Google be able to find my keys, but it will be able to track just about any physical object on the planet... at least those 'infected' with RFID tags at the point of sale.

You know the technology, a microchip with a micro-antenna that broadcasts information to a reader. It's the technology that Wal-Mart uses to track every sale and to automatically order replacement stock.

Since every tag has a unique 'signature', you could theoretically locate any tagged object... whether on a store shelf, buried underground, or in the case of my keys, under my bed!

The world where scanners can tell so much about me might be very scary. As I enter a tech store, they might ID me as a Mac fan by noticing the RFID tag embedded in my iPod; or entering a clothing store, they might know my sizes and brand preferences from the tags in the lining of my clothes; a garbage truck might be able to scan my trash and know that I've thrown out any of a number of 'products'.

I know that this technology has many unknowns and since my Wired magazine subscription has only recently been renewed, I'll have to get refresh my thoughts on the use of this technology. But maybe, just maybe, the fact I will be able to Google my keys, will make RFID a bit more palatable?

More in depth ramblings recently added to the Teacher 2.0 podcast.