Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When your Purchases have Memory

So I was reading an article on flexible graphine memristors, which are a non-volatile data storage device.  And I was thinking about how most modern electronics actually are washable -- as long as they don't have power attached.  And so I thought, what if you put flexible memory devices in clothing, they'd be just like any other tag on it.  And then I thought okay, what if I add a radio antenna and attach it to a microprocessor that's small enough the radio waves alone are enough to power it.

Now you've got a bit of data-storage that you can attach to every item in a store, that can be read and writen at a distance over RF.  And it's flexible, so it can stay attached for the life of the product without bothering your customer.

Kewl huh?  Imagine walking into a clothing store and they know exactly how much you paid for each item you're wearing.  Did you pay full price?  Did you buy each item by itself, or as an outfit?  How long after the new products came out, before you purchased them?

What if other retailers "bomb" the tags of their competitors, so that after you've visited a Levi's store, your Lucky Jeans start lying, saying you bought them at a total loss to the retailer .. and months after they came out?  What if you rewrite your own tags, to get better service, by setting off the "pays full price, buys multiple  items at once, adopts early" flags in a target retailer's scanners?  And that's just clothing.  I can't wait to mess with more ubiquitous computing.

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