Elon University

A vision for the future

This is one of nearly a thousand foresight statements shared by people from around the world. To return to the Voices of the People home page or to refine your search, click here.

Name: Brandon

From: Wisconsin

Bio: Internet User

Area of Expertise: Advocate/Voice of the People

Topic: Information Infrastructure

Headline: RFID tags will be ubiquitous

Nutshell: RFID tags are here now and they will soon replace most types of day-to-day information exchange between firms: charts, debit/credit cards, identifications, etc.


RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, is a high-tech tagging currently in use by shipping companies and retailers to track cargo crates and shipments between stores. The technology is simple; each RFID tag has a different signal that can be picked up by an RFID reader. The RFID can contain different information depending on what the user would like the item to transmit. Once the tag is recognized by the reader, the possibilities are endless. Similar technology is used in the open road tolling in Chicago. A tag is embedded in the user’s “I-Pass” which is read by the sensors above the roadway. The tags determine which accounts to subtract the toll money from. In the future, humans will have RFID-tag inside each and every one of us that contains our health information, credit card information, and other access information. In conjunction with these, each and every product in the world will contain a tiny RFID-chip, which is quickly becoming cheap enough in real life. These two systems can be used together in hundreds of new ways:
• You can walk through a grocery store check out and have your total within 2 seconds – the food you purchase sends its data and price to the “register” when you walk past the scanner. You can then pass your wrist (with its RFID-tag) over the register to pay for the groceries from your bank account.

• A database full of millions of recipes can compare what you have in your refrigerator (via the RFID-tag) to suggest recipes to you. Through the internet, you can determine what you needed to buy from the grocery store, based on the RFID-tags in your kitchen.

• Locks and access to buildings can be tied to your personal RFID-tag.

• Police and medical units can instantly identify any human being with an RFID-tag, a government identification for all intents and purposes. EMTs can instantly determine a patient’s allergies, past medical history, and other relevant medical data.

Date Submitted: October 1, 2008