17th level Hacker

Steaming Load

I just posted about Sem@code, which I think rocks. Since I’ve said so much good, I feel somewhat justified in bringing up this article about RFID and cell phones. I can think of no appropriate words, except perhaps “steaming load of crap”. Take the quote from the article used in the post leader:

What if that same salesman could hit a few buttons on the car’s dashboard and have the information sent back to those applications via cell phone? Think how happy he would be to arrive home after a trip to find an accurate expense check already in the in-box.

Ummm.. how does RFID fit into that? I’m not sure. Maybe something get left out of that point, mistakes happen. But unfotunately everything there is just complete and total bunk. RFID adoption is getting driven completely by requirements from WalMart and the DOD. Very few people wanted to invest in the technology, they were strongarmed into adopting it. Where do all these happy RFID boosters come from? Mostly RFID consultants, people selling the tech and the services, making to look a quick buck at someone else’s expense. What happens when a technology get forced into a place without the proper amount of gestation and natural selection in the marketplace? You end up with fragile systems that cost more to maintain than they save. WalMart might save money by using RFID, the DOD might. None of their suppliers are going to save money, it’s an additional cost of doing business for them.

So why do I want to use RFID from my cell phone? I DO think it’s a good idea. I would like to be able to identify items using my handset, and involve real world objects in data transactions. I just think this article does a terrible job of describing why one would want to do those things. I’m surprized it got picked up in so many of the news sources that I read. And, really, it disappoints me. Makes me think that people are out there shillin’ for the Technology Man.. as I recently mentioned. What’s the deal? Someone, please explain what about that article even bordered on competent. Comments are open.