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Wireless Networking Technology Hardware

World's Smallest RFID Reader Touted 121

Posted by simoniker
from the very-tiny dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Innovision Research & Technology, a UK company, has developed a radio frequency identification (RFID) reader that supports Near Field Communication (NFC), a new standard that will allow electronic devices to interact when "touched" together. The NFC standard is being backed by Nokia, Philips and Sony. It's meant to let users access content and services by simply touching 'smart objects' and connecting devices just by holding them next to each other. Some services include swapping music and buying movie tickets. Once a connection has been established between two NFC-enabled devices, another wireless technology such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth will be used to actually transfer the data. By adding support for NFC, Innovision says it's getting ready for when mobile users will be able to download music tracks by just tapping their device against a poster."
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World's Smallest RFID Reader Touted

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  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @03:45AM (#9265038) Homepage Journal
    ... I'm having mine built right in to my tinfoil hat. That'll stop the CIA/NSA/MI6/CI5/Walmart from spying on me as I carry out my top level, high security, deeply private but basically non-existent personal life.
  • Does anyone else see this as the first step in making RFID tagging of everything acceptable - "See how our RFID system makes your life easier"
    As Largo says - "Dude - the government sent us these RFID tags. It says we gotta wear 'em cos they protect us from 3\/1L"
    • It's still a privacy problem as long as you can't create your own tags and do whatever you want with them, but OTOH it seems pretty cool! Really scary: cool RFIDs...
      What's definitely not cool is that hardware is still not scriptable, and it surely won't be in the future, so these cool RFIDs won't be cool for a long time if you can't script anything to use them. It will only be read-only software...
    • You can misuse anything. Chemistry and medicine are responsible for both poisons and medicines. It's up to us to see they're used wisely. Are we going to be frightened of the future and hide in the sand?
  • oh suuure.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by JTMON (313481) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @03:49AM (#9265052) Homepage
    "Innovision says it's getting ready for when mobile users will be able to download music tracks by just tapping their device against a poster."

    and the RIAA is getting ready to sue them!
    • Seems to me the RIAA will have no problem with this at all. Why should they when they will be part of the payment chain? Or did you think it said 'free' download? Better think again...

      • Re:uhh noooo... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by JTMON (313481)
        "Or did you think it said 'free' download? Better think again"

        what was I thinking...you obviously believe two things-It will be unhackable and indy artists who have no ties to the RIAA won't be able to use the technology..
        • Re:uhh noooo... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by armyofone (594988)
          Of course, you're right. Almost everything is hackable but... most people don't hack - they buy into the technology and money changes hands. Why else is Microsoft still making billions?

          Ultimately, this will be targeted toward consumers - and that's where the money will be made. Hackers and indie artists notwithstanding...

    • Anyone else see an image in their head of the absent-minded music lover sitting with their head-phones on and tapping away to the music ..
      and buying the same song four hundred times?

      NOOOOO !
  • The future is here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Janosh (777222) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @03:54AM (#9265070) Homepage
    "Innovision says it's getting ready for when mobile users will be able to download music tracks by just tapping their device against a poster"

    This is sci-fi. And i even think RIAA will be able to get money from this. (don't know if i like that)
    • by armyofone (594988)
      Heh - "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- A.C.C.

      The RIAA will be happy to collect their slice of this pie. And don't think for a second that they won't be right there, with their hands in the customary 'palm up' position, as this technology is rolled out.

      Not that I would have a big problem with the RIAA if they just didn't act like such imbeciles. I'd be happy to see them get their cut if they fostered innovation in music and actually helped the creative process. Ins
      • by kerrbear (163235)

        Heh - "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- A.C.C.

        I knew some Albanian refugees who came to the States. My wife took them shopping at the grocery to show them how to do it. She had to get some cash, so she went to the ATM and got some out. The Albanians stared in disbelief as she simply removed cash from a machine to buy goods. It had to be explained to them that it was her money from the bank.

        I had this idea that in the future that vechicles would be driven on a r

  • by Ratface (21117) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @03:54AM (#9265071) Homepage Journal
    By adding support for NFC, Innovision says it's getting ready for when mobile users will be able to download music tracks by just tapping their device against a poster."

    Amazing - that would be a great transfer rate if we're talking about full songs. Or when they say "tap" do they perhaps mean "holding their devices against a poster for a few minutes."??
    • by davidmb (213267) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:01AM (#9265097)
      Once the tap against the poster has been registered, the transfer takes place via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. So it could take seconds or minutes, it doesn't matter if you stay close enough to the transmitter. It may even appear to the user that the tap transfered the song instantaneously.
      • I must be missing something here... Why not just have bluetooth devices to the whole process? Surely the point of RFID tags is that they are cheap and can be spread, virus-like, through the known multi-verse. But if you have to have a transmitter for the transfer process anyway, why not just do it all through the bluetooth or wi-fi in the first place..?
        • It's just a way of initiating the transfer. It's also an effective system that even the computer illiterate could use with ease: "Just tap your card here to purchase ...."

          You'll be walking through a sea of RF signals. How does your hardware know which ones to ignore and which streams it's supposed to intercept, decode and save? Unless the RFID transciever was authenticated first, the signals would be ignored.

        • Tapping is a good selection GUI.

          If you are in a music store, they have 70 posters, and thousands of CDs. Which samples do you want? How are you going to scroll through them all?

          You browse as normal. Tap, and then continue to walk around the store while you listen to the samples or songs you just bought.
      • Or even use the tap to initiate a transfer through an internet link (through your cell phone, for example).
      • And using DRM they could even preload your player with the song if they're GPS system detects that you are approaching the poster. If you tap the poster then the system has preemptively served you better. If you don't tap the poster then the software could delete the tune from the player.
    • Amazing - that would be a great transfer rate if we're talking about full songs. Or when they say "tap" do they perhaps mean "holding their devices against a poster for a few minutes."??

      No, we're talking more about tapping your device against the poster in order to get the unique rfid. Then you connect to the wifi or bluetooth wireless connection avaliable, and presumably use a custom protocol to request the song by giving the network the rfid.
        • presumably use a custom protocol to request the song by giving the network the rfid.

        Quick! Somebody patent custom protocols! So we can stop them! Otherwise OSS will die! And DRM will reign! And... Oh, well. Whatever.

      • And they'll be charging $2 per song right? I somehow doubt it.

        That then begs the question, why bother? Why not use something like itunes?

        It sure sounds cool to say "you can buy songs just by tapping your mobile onto a poster" but there are things to think about:
        * DRM - am I allowed to make unlimited copies? How about 1 so I don't have to keep the song on my mobile phone?
        * Cost - No more CDs means the price goes down, right? Most likely not. They'll probably charge however much singles cost per download. A
    • Basically, operating speed is 106 kbits/s or 212 kbits/s, using the same protocols (Philips' MIFARE and Sony's FeliCa) as used with proximity RFID tags. Higher transmission speeds, from 424 kbits/s, are possible between dedicated NFC devices.
    • No, you DON'T have to throw violently your iPod to the poster, just stay close enough of it, like the other 50 people trying the service at the same time as you.
  • blahblahblah ... swapping music ... blah blah blah


    I'll take 2 !
  • by Stuwee (739059) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:00AM (#9265090)
    Innovision says it's getting ready for when mobile users will be able to download music tracks by just tapping their device against a poster

    Imagine also walking into a high street music shop with your MP3 player in hand where all of their CDs are embedded with rfid tags. Tap your MP3 player against a CD case to get the rfid tag, then your MP3 player connects to the store's wifi network and requests a sample of the album using the rfid tag.

    Limit it to a couple of samples per person per unit time to avoid abuse, and you've got yourself a very powerful means of marketing CDs.
    • Give away something for free to drive sales? Don't be daft man, why would anyone buy milk when they can get it for free?

      (Hey, ya know? This cheese really is pretty good. You'll have to excuse me now, I'm off to the dairy aisle. Later.)

      KFG
    • A few stores already do that: a bar-code scanner combined with ear-plugs. At least you can listen to the full album in the store without stealing anything.
    • ... or you could just scan the CD's barcode in the listening kiosk 5 feet away and listen to any track on it with headphones. That seems a bit easier.
  • It doesn't seem like it'll make it.. I mean, this would be good for gameboy or you know other device-to-device transfers but you require WIFI for it meaning I wouldn't be able to transfer stuff with a friend a work without a wi-fi designed for this purpose too.

    IR is still a better option it appears.
    • Well, if "tapping" two devices together would initiate and auto-configure a simple ad-hoc WiFi connection, start the data exchange, then stop the connection again, this technique will be great. Think about the speed improvement of Irda vs. Bluetooth vs. an .11g network...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The NFC standard is being backed by Nokia, Philips and Sony. ... Some services include swapping music ..."

    And will include MPAA/RIAA tagging technology to automagically bill your auntie for each and every bit transferred!!

    Beep-Beep, Richie.

  • to business cards! So, if I am at a conference and I talk to someone doing interesting stuff, we can just have the business cards touch and exchange all necessary contact information. Now that would be really easy. If there were a way to wire this thing to your fingertips, you could exchange the information by shaking hands :)
    • with "Personal Area Networks" via Sony and other Japanese companies. Another solution looking for a problem, presumably people got sick of saying "You DON'T have a new, experimental business card reader that uses body capacitance to transfer data? Hang on, I'll write it down for you"
    • You should read the novel 'Noir' by KW Jeter [amazon.com]. Its set in the near future, and business men have their hands wired so when they shake hands they exchange information.

      They have a part of the book online [amazon.com]. Click on the central image until you get to page 14, halfway down the system is described.

      For the rest the novel is a good read, if you like Neal Stephenson or William Gibson. Same sort of writing style and setting.
    • by horza (87255) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:17AM (#9265264) Homepage
      to business cards! So, if I am at a conference and I talk to someone doing interesting stuff, we can just have the business cards touch and exchange all necessary contact information. Now that would be really easy. If there were a way to wire this thing to your fingertips, you could exchange the information by shaking hands :)

      That's been around for ages [ibm.com].

      Phillip.
    • Great, you could spam people just by shaking hands!
    • So, if I am at a conference and I talk to someone doing interesting stuff, we can just have the business cards touch and exchange all necessary contact information.

      Yeah, or, and follow me on this one 'cause it's a little crazy and out-there, you could write all the contact information on the business card, and then you could give them the card, and they instantly have all the information.

      What an idea... *rushes off to the patent office*
    • The transfer contact info just by shaking hands alread exists and doesn't require wiring. Naturally the tech is only in the lab at the moment, but that will change. Google up "personal area network" and look at some of hits.

      This is going to happen, the questions are just when, and how will we control when and how much of our the information is being shared. I certainly don't want to wander down the street and wind up with the contact information of every person I bump into, and (more importantly) I don

    • you are talking about a PAN (Personal Area Network) and has been in development and limited use at MIT for over 5 years now.

      I shake your hand and your PDA and mine swap contact information....

      Old idea, it's simply being refined to the point where it is as transparent as you are wanting.
  • Movie tickets? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JMJ (15496) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:17AM (#9265139) Homepage
    Why is the buying movie tickets example always touted with this kind of technology? Does anyone actually spend that much time buying them to make it worthwhile for boffins to spend millions researching ways to make it a few seconds faster?

    Confused! (easily)
    • Re:Movie tickets? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bhima (46039) <Bhima@Pandava.gmail@com> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:35AM (#9265184) Journal
      The last time I was in the US, I went to see a movie. They had 5 Credit/Debit card kiosks and 3 cashiers available for customer use. There were about 100 people in line for the cashiers and less the 5 in line for kiosks. What makes anyone thing people will actually use the this technology?
      • There were about 100 people in line for the cashiers and less the 5 in line for kiosks. What makes anyone thing people will actually use the this technology?

        Because you are served almost immediately, instead of having to wait in line for a long time?

        • That's his point. Hardly anyone seems to use the credit card kiosks. Any monetary transaction that doesn't involve the folding green and a human teller seems to freak Joe Public out somewhat. Some sort of innate distrust or fear of technology perhaps?
          • Or maybe they don't want to pay Fandango an extra dollar to save a few minutes in line for a movie that probably won't sell out anyway?
          • ... technology itself. and I've seen this distinction to be failed to be seen over and over again here on slashdot. Why is it if someone just doesn't like "A" piece of technology, then it automagically means they don't like - "fear and mistrust"- ALL technology? Why is that? Where ever did you (generic you really, not personal) get that idea?

            From my POV, the idea of getting microchipped, or handing "them" the ability to track me/surveil me/ whatever in every single thing I do by putting RFID tags in every
      • and I was one of those people bypassing the other idiots in the lines.

        The Kiosks and automated shopping lanes are Awesome... it rewards the smart people by saving them time while at the same time punishing the sheep that are "afraid" of the technology, by removing that many cahsiers.

        Actually most of the time I buy my movie tickets just before we leave for the theatre online... so I walk up to the ticket taker, hand them my printout, they scan it and we are in.

      • Re:Movie tickets? (Score:3, Informative)

        by GTRacer (234395)
        When was this "last time"? Our biggest theatres have the same setup, but a slightly higher cashier:kiosk ratio on busy nights.

        Anyway, I use them all the time and there's usually a couple of people on each one. But one difference might be that since you can order tix online and merely pick up at the kiosk, the user only has to stand there for about 30 seconds and he's done. Maybe more people are using them than is immediately apparent?

        I tend to favor stores where I *can* use the debit card because I *do

      • The last time I was in the US, I went to see a movie. They had 5 Credit/Debit card kiosks and 3 cashiers available for customer use. There were about 100 people in line for the cashiers and less the 5 in line for kiosks. What makes anyone thing people will actually use the this technology?

        Go to Penn Station in NYC sometime and check out the huge lines for the ticket windows at Amtrak or the LIRR. Actually, Amtrak/LIRR would probably even have statistics available regarding how many tickets were sold at
      • I know of a movie theater chain that offers services like this, but they charge a fee of $1 or something like that. Screw that. I'm not going to pay a fee for something like that.

        The most disgusting part of it all is that these type of things save the *theater* money. Automation means they don't have to pay as many cashiers, which saves a lot on cost. They make us pay extra for what is for them a money-saver.

        It is convenient, but in no way is it worth the extra fee. Until I can do that for the same price
      • If they would stop charging a "Service fee" for using the kiosk. The kiosk HAS to be cheaper than the person behind the register, it doesn't cost $6/hour to keep it there. Get in get out be done, but they slap a $3 fee onto an already overpriced ticket and people would rather wait in line. This being said I realized I've only seen one movie in the theatre in the past 6 months, LoTR. The price has driven me to rentals and other entertainment.

        It might be something to do with the fact that the terminals run w
    • Re:Movie tickets? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:40AM (#9265192)
      I don't think they're trying to sell the idea to the public. They're selling it to people who want to extract money from the public, and the benefit is not time savings but lower running costs (read, less staff). I'd say it's aimed at large retailers and mass media.
    • The thing about the movie theater example is that it's not a complex transaction. Virtually all the prices are the same, and the total transaction time at the kiosk is about the same as the one for the human being. My local theater has kiosks scattered about the place, and I'll use them if there's nobody there when I happen to walk past them, but if there is, I keep walking to the cashier.

      You say a movie name, hand them 5 bucks (or whatever) and get a ticket within about 15 seconds, maximum. If you're usin
  • by JTMON (313481)
    "Innovision says it's getting ready for when mobile users will be able to download music tracks by just tapping their device against a poster"

    Ok, but can they make it so we can fix electronics by tapping our fists against them?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Kinetic repairs have been around for years - It's known as percussive maintenance. The difference between an engineer and a layman is just in knowing where to apply the thrust :-)
  • by domQ (760908) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:23AM (#9265152) Homepage
    Once a connection has been established between two NFC-enabled devices, another wireless technology such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth will be used to actually transfer the data.
    This idea could solve the wireless security problems in a really secure and convenient way (if only the standards folks can get the crypto right this time :-/ ): exchange symmetric keys over NFC, then do encrypted 802.11 or Bluetooth. This gets rid of passwords (which are either difficult to remember, easy to guess, or both), is as secure as wire (requires physical access to the 802.11 hub to build a connection) and provides a nice security metaphor to non tech-savvy people: by touching the two devices together, one creates a "virtual wire" between them that can be "stretched" up to the maximal range of the wireless link.
    • Them WLAN cables is not exactly new [cgi.ebay.de], you knows? ;)

      Fish's here [altavista.com]
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:02AM (#9265371) Journal
      See, that kind of inventing metaphors for supposedly retarded users is precisely one of the problems with this industry. If the users have a problem, it's not our product that's got piss-poor usability. We just need a more awkward metaphor.

      The problem nowadays isn't that the users are retarded, nor that they're monkeys which need colourful visual aids to understand which buttons to use. And the sooner we get rid of that snotty "user=idiot" attitude, the better.

      The same users didn't need any metaphor to learn how to use a TV remote control. Even the most uneducated peasant in the middle of nowhere, has no problem using his remote.

      But they don't need to touch their remote to the TV and picture some invisible wire stretched between the two. They can very well understand concepts like "you're pushing a button here, and something happens over there."

      E.g., the mouse is probably one of the most successful devices of this century. Even your non-techie grand-grandma has no problem using it, with some minimal showing her how.

      It doesn't even try to simulate another real-life device, nor to rely on some convoluted metaphor. You don't need to touch it to the screen, nor perform some rituals to apease the gnomes in the monitor that push the cursor around, nor any other retarded metaphor. Again, people can very well understand the concept of "you push it here, and something moves over there."

      E.g., take the hyperlink. It's so successful that it's pretty much become the standard interface wherever information is involved. Even the menus on DVDs basically use hyperlinks. Your retarded neighbours who call you to remove Gator off their PC, got it... by clicking on a hyperlink.

      And again, it doesn't even try to rely on any metaphor. You don't need to give them a visual of something squeezing through that link and spilling all over their screen. Nor to show them some convoluted animation of a hand flipping through a book to find the page they've requested.

      Etc.

      All the successful interfaces are, in fact, abstract. They're easy to use for what they are, not because of needing mind-twisting visual metaphors to understand them.

      I.e., while I do think that this use of RFID does bring a usability improvement, it will _not_ be because of convoluted mental acrobatics to imagine an invisible wire. It will be because the act of touching two things together is simple and intuitive, in and by itself. (Or at least easier than generating and distributing WEP keys.) You can tell anyone "just tap it to a poster to get a sample song", and rest assured that they'll understand it very well as such.

      These convoluted visual metaphors aren't just unneeded, they create more problems and questions that they solve. E.g., if you tell someone to visualize an invisible wire, you just give them reason to ask wire-related questions. E.g., "what if someone walks through my invisible wire?"
      • See, that kind of inventing metaphors for supposedly retarded users is precisely one of the problems with this industry.

        Well, you are very close to having a point. But not quite.

        • Human/computer interface design is all about metaphors [libero.it]. A mouse cursor, a window, a clickable hyperlink etc. are all metaphors (resp. for command I/O, multitasking and a "World Wide Web" that actually doesn't have wires, either). Consider the alternative (command-line everywhere, full-screen text, BBSes one had to write down
        • I see the points inherent in this whole thread, but I wanted to chip in my 2 bits.

          I think that a good metaphor is not what is needed, but a good design is. For example, phones range from insanely complex to insanely simple (point to point), but still require some training to use. This is a bad design, but it suffices. Car HVAC systems are "intuitive", at least to someone trained to use them (You may have to trust me on this, since I spent a week trying to figure out the HVAC systems on an old Mercedes and

      • Even the most uneducated peasant in the middle of nowhere, has no problem using his remote. You've obviously never met my wife...
    • That's really brilliant.

      Make sure you publish somewhere prominent so the prior art is documented and this doesn't get buried by patents.
  • Dyslexia (Score:4, Funny)

    by Fizzl (209397) <<ten.lzzif> <ta> <lzzif>> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:40AM (#9265190) Homepage Journal
    I could have sworn it said:
    Invasion Research & Technology(...) when I glanced on the blurb for the first time.
  • Now that is what I'm talkin about... never mind downloading a song from a poster... I want to be able to upload an image to the poster... talk about tagging in the 21st C.

    What I wonder is shat sort of distance has to be maintained once a connection has been made? It would be a real pain if even a slight separation of the devices caused you to lose your link. It will be great for transfering product info from a smart tag to your PDA though. I can see needing some sort of application that would allow me t
  • why not just use IR? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hak1du (761835) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:18AM (#9265268) Journal
    IR is already in widespread use, supported by many phones and most PDAs, and very cheap. Furthermore, you can make it as "near field" as you like simply by where you place the emitter. And unlike any RF technology, IR data can be shielded easily in real-world settings.
    • RFID tags would be much cheaper and smaller. I don't think you'd be able to embed an IR transmitter easily into a poster.
      • RFID tags would be much cheaper and smaller. I don't think you'd be able to embed an IR transmitter easily into a poster.

        Why not? You can probably get it down fairly easily to the size of a quarter.
        • ...while passive RFID tags don't require power. This application just wouldn't be practical in the same way with IR.
          • ...while passive RFID tags don't require power. This application just wouldn't be practical in the same way with IR.

            That's no big deal: you either use a disposable unit with an integrated battery, or you recharge with a small solar cell. Keep in mind that it is more important for many applications that the end user has a reader already available, rather than that the tag has the lowest possible price. Compared to the rent people pay for movie posters and other advertising space, a few bucks spent on a d
    • by rm007 (616365) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:38AM (#9265461) Journal
      IR is already in widespread use, supported by many phones and most PDAs, and very cheap.

      Very cheap - good point. And something not mentioned in the article. What would really drive the adoption of RFID - and make available the advantages of the technology that are mentioned elsewhere (i.e. RFID tags would be much cheaper and smaller.) would be announcement of the worlds CHEAPEST RFID reader. That would be news. Sure, the price of anything will come down with volume, and volume comes with widespread adoption, but to speed up the rate at which this technology gets adopted - and have super-small readers embedded in all kinds of devices - not only do the tags have to come down in cost, but the readers will have to be cheaper too. Is there something about how they put this together that will, all other things being equal, give this a cost advantage over other ways of putting readers together?

      Oh, and to be able to compare, does anyone know anything about the cost of a typical IR reader of the type used in phones, PDAs and laptops? How about the cost of other RFID readers? While I am sure that device manufacturers are assuming that the costs will be or become equal, any idea as to when this might realistically happen?
  • Oh boy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:40AM (#9265309)
    "Innovision says it's getting ready for when mobile users will be able to download music tracks by just tapping their device against a poster."

    This is right up there with "Imagine, as you're walking down the street, restaurants and other service providers can, get this, beam information straight to your mobile phone!!1!" of yesteryear. I can see the marketoid frothing at the mouth and waving his hands. They just don't get it.

    No. Bad marketoid. Your idea is stupid and you suck. Nobody will lug around such a device, certainly not for tapping posters with. Nobody will want to buy movie tickets with such a thing. What people might want to do is on their own time and leisure buy tickets, music, etc. over the net from home. I'm not sure at what stage things are in the US, but over here (north europe) I buy tickets online before a show since I can't remember when, takes all of two minutes. So take your rfid crap and stick it. Shit, why don't you just integrate this with the barcode scanning fridge and webcam "You've run out of milk"-schtik that you dreamed up in the 90's, which, incidentally, was obviously a fucking stupid idea to everyone except to marketoids who apparently don't use their fridges.
    • Re:Oh boy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by laigle (614390) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @07:19AM (#9265583)
      Know what I don't get about the movie ticket idea? What the hell is the big problem with buying movie tickets conventionally? I mean, do they honestly believe people are so sheeplike they'll impulse buy tickets just because they walk past a poster?

      Okay, dumb question.

      But seriously, it's not like you can watch the movie at the poster. You have to go to the theater, where they sell the tickets anyways. So instead of buying some universal payment laptop and worrying about who has a "smart device" skimmer in their briefcase, why not just, I don't know, LEAVE THE FRIGGIN HOUSE FIVE MINUTES EARLIER AND BUY THE TICKET WHEN YOU GET THERE?!?!?! Or if you really have to involve futuristic technology in the process, buy the tickets online as above. It's not like there's been some huge gap in our purchasing ability and we were crying out for the ability to buy random crap in more convoluted ways.
    • Nobody will lug around such a device, certainly not for tapping posters with.

      Sure they will. "The iPod 3+. Now with RFID authentication and WiFi transfer! Beam a playlist to your friend, synch tracks between devices, buy music from the ITMP( iTunesMusicPoster)!"

      Kids are more and more eschewing a traditional computer in favor of more portable devices.
      The cellphone carries their address book, lets them talk and IM, play games, take pictures, the iPod is their stereo, the PSP or GameBoy for better games,
  • Yes or more to the point mobile phone users will be able to download music buy tapping their phones with their friends or some random person, thats all we really care about.
  • Novelty (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Luciq (697883) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:03AM (#9265373) Homepage
    This seems more of a novelty function than something useful. I can see this technology having a few cool uses, but downloading media by tapping CDs and posters isn't it. Remember 5 years ago when "In the future, you'll be able to buy drinks by pointing your cell phone at a soda machine, or using your Java Ring [sun.com]!"

    If I want to buy music digitally, why the crap would I want to put pants on and go to the mall? So I can tap my player against a CD and buy music the super-cool new way? I don't know about the rest of you, but for me a primary advantage of buying digital media is the fact that I don't have to go anywhere.

    This could make for some hilarious ways to buy porn...
    • This could make for some hilarious ways to buy porn...

      The more you touch, the more you're paid. Reminds me of the mob guy who claimed the FBI put a bug (wiretapping, not insect) up his ass.
    • If I want to buy music digitally, why the crap would I want to put pants on and go to the mall?

      Impulse buy. You're already out, and this gies them another way to separate you from your money. Without you having to carry around cash, or even a credit card.
    • I can see the next slashdot poll, "Favorite way to buy pr0n". Too bad nobody pays for pr0n anymore.
  • by Illserve (56215) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:22AM (#9265424)
    This bit here:

    "access content and services by simply touching 'smart objects' and connecting devices just by holding them next to each other"

    reads like erotica to the average /.er

  • when you want to buy porn? Sounds like it could be dangerous to place this reader next to my "device."
  • NFC vs. iButton (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chiph (523845) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @08:06AM (#9265760)
    So, how is NFC any different from Dallas Semiconductor's iButton [ibutton.com] which has been around for years and is a proven technology?

    Chip H.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...is that they work for Innovision (yes, I know exactly who the submitter is, AND I am an ex employee - see, at least I declare an interest rathewr than pretending to be unbiased), and that Innovision have been playing with RFID for the past 8+ YEARS trying to get something working and find a market into which they could sell.

    8 years and this is the best they could come up with?!
  • New Frontiers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by radiophonic (767486)
    For virus authors:
    "Tap your Windows CE device to this poster and get a kewl new game!"

    Now, I don't own any devices that would potentially use such a service but I really don't see the value in this. It seems more like the clam before the RFID storm. Get people to accept the technology as good and then become more intrusive. Common tactics. Of course, when I read it, some things went through my mind. Such as:
    • How hard would it be to set up a rogue system based on this technology?
    • How hard would it be t
  • by MythoBeast (54294) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @10:08AM (#9266741) Homepage Journal
    This technology isn't a download technology, it's an ID technology. It doesn't download a 3mb song in the time it takes you to tap a poster, it just transfers a UUID or similar identifying set of bits. It doesn't automatically download anything, you'd have to set your receiver to start looking for it.

    Here's how it would work. You're in a music store and you want to "grab" a demo of a song. You tell your PDA/IPOD thingie to grab a song, then tap it on the appropriate poster. The IPOD receives a UUID, connects via WIFI or Bluetooth to a song server and starts to receive the music. It could quite readly play such a song as soon as it starts to receive it, since WIFI speeds are way above playing bit rate these days.

    There's no magic here, except for the ability for an "RFID reception area" to be in the shape of a poster with printing on it, as opposed to an invisible ranged sphere.
  • This would probably also be a good time to remind people of Semacode [semacode.org], previously discussed [slashdot.org] on Slashdot. It combines using 2D barcodes with common handheld devices (phones, PDAs, etc.).

    Basically, it serves the same purpose as simple RFID tags: it lets you put up to a few thousand bits of information anywhere. You could, of course, easily use that for exchanging security keys, etc.

    Note that this works both ways: modern phones also can display barcodes, which are then read by cameras (e.g., used for bill p
  • My god man! Did I wake up in Bizarro world today?

    I'm halfway down through the comments, and I've not seen a single obnoxious joke about tapping your "device" against a poster in public. Not even "I know a few slashdot posters I'D like to tap my device against".

    Hoepfully, this inane post will help me find my way back to the right dimension.

    Shit. I'm not sure I wanted to do that....

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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