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World's Smallest RFID Reader Touted

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the very-tiny dept.

Wireless Networking 121

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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Hi, Jimmy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265024)

First Post

Hi, Jimmy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265029)

Second Post

first post!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265031)

first post!! -- jon_k

Hi, Jimmy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265037)

This guy fails it

As an extra space saving... (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265038)

... 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.

Re:As an extra space saving... (4, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265091)

"As an extra space saving 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."

Yeah, but we can still spy on you

- FBI

BANG BANG BANG, OW! That hurt. (4, Funny)

Lotharjade (750874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265267)

Bang your head against a soda machine to get a coke. If it doesn't work, keep banging!!!

Re:As an extra space saving... (1)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265919)

Bah, all you need to worry about is when your mom sets a bottle of lotion and kleenex next to your PVR and it starts playing pr0n.

the world's smallest RFID (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265040)

...was put into your brain years ago by the US govt. They use it to track our location and make us think that someone is knocking on the door when there is no one there, or that the phone is ringing when it isn't.

It's called psychotronic warfare, and it's real. I'd pay big money from someone that would stand up to clandestine American intelligence agencies and get this fucking device out of my head.

Re:the world's smallest RFID (4, Interesting)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265055)

I wonder how sensitive these things will really become. Will we accidentally transfer things if we bump into someone if we've left it on (e.g. Palm receive mode)?

Excuse me, I have to get the phone....

Re:the world's smallest RFID (1)

awhelan (781773) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266714)

Even if they aren't ultra-sensitive, is it really that much more convient to wave a card in front of a sensor than to swipe a magnetic strip? I don't think accidently transfering things is as much of a problem as people stealing your info intentionally. 1. Use one of these readers to get someone's info. 2. Broadcast it using your homemade RFID card. 3. ... 4. Profit!! (or ad least... 4. Movie Tickets!!) Scammers will have a field day with these.

Althought it's a good idea - (2, Insightful)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265044)

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"

Re:Althought it's a good idea - (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265283)

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...

Re:Althought it's a good idea - (3, Insightful)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265845)

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?

Re:Althought it's a good idea - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266443)

Get your own bomb shelter, ostrich, I dug this one myself, dammit.

Let me get this straight (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265048)

This is a new way of "handshaking" for bluetooth and other technologies

This is just rfid isnt it?

oh suuure.. (5, Funny)

JTMON (313481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265052)

"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!

uhh noooo... (1)

armyofone (594988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265112)

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... (3, Interesting)

JTMON (313481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265133)

"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... (2, Insightful)

armyofone (594988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265179)

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...

The future is here (4, Interesting)

Janosh (777222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265070)

"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)

Re:The future is here (2, Interesting)

armyofone (594988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265148)

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. Instead, like any other large conglomerate, they are more interested in the bottom line. So, what we'll get are more waves of Auto-Tuned Britney, Xtina, and Justin clones.

Sad, really...

So it's fast then is it? (5, Funny)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265071)

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."??

The tap initiates the transfer (5, Informative)

davidmb (213267) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:The tap initiates the transfer (2, Insightful)

tommy_teardrop (228273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265482)

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..?

Re:The tap initiates the transfer (2, Interesting)

confused one (671304) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265661)

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.

Re:The tap initiates the transfer (2, Interesting)

Gaijin42 (317411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265749)

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.

Re:So it's fast then is it? (2, Insightful)

Stuwee (739059) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265107)

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.

We can beat them at it (2, Funny)

trezor (555230) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265121)

  • 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.

Re:So it's fast then is it? (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265864)

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. At least whilever the song is new, they might bring it down to a more reasonible price afterwards.... maybe.

Itunes == good idea
Poster != good idea

They use the same principles, but I just can't see this poster idea being quite as good as itunes. If it is priced around the same as itunes and your allowed a reasonable amount of copies, then whoever uses it could be a serious competitor to itunes. Otherwise, forget about it.

NFC transmission speed (1)

Serious Simon (701084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265204)

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.

Re:So it's fast then is it? (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265293)

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.

let's go wild ! (1, Funny)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265073)

blahblahblah ... swapping music ... blah blah blah


I'll take 2 !

Lots of useful applications (5, Interesting)

Stuwee (739059) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lots of useful applications (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265227)

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

Re:Lots of useful applications (2, Informative)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265303)

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.

Re:Lots of useful applications (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265814)

We have a similar set up in Australia. The music is stored on a computer in "a wall" and you select it by pressing numbers. The parent's idea is just technology for the sake of technology. Not everyone has walkman's. Not everyone carries them everywhere. Not everyone plans to go to a music store but are just walking past and decide to pop in. I don't see the point to puttting the new technology into something that already has a solution. There are little benefits to the parents suggestion but there are many disadvantages.

Doesn't seem like it'll kick off (2, Interesting)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265092)

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.

Re:Doesn't seem like it'll kick off (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265131)

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...

We all float down here. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265106)


"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.

This would make a great addition (4, Insightful)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265116)

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 :)

Re:This would make a great addition (1)

hutkey (709330) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265156)

If there were a way to wire this thing to your fingertips, you could exchange the information by shaking hands :)

if it happens really, think what would happen if you are at crowded place. :O

it will be easier to get dates.
u could easily get information of anybody u like to have. just touch.

think of invasion of privacy!

done years ago (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265224)

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"

Re:This would make a great addition (2, Interesting)

CvD (94050) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265253)

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.

Re:This would make a great addition (4, Informative)

horza (87255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265264)

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.

Re:This would make a great addition (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265311)

Great, you could spam people just by shaking hands!

Re:This would make a great addition (1)

fikx (704101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266692)

check out this: PAN [ibm.com] or Personal Area Network. using this stuff (like build into a watch or something) you could do what you want with no wires. cool stuff.

Re:This would make a great addition (3, Funny)

comet_11 (611321) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265508)

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*

Re:This would make a great addition (1)

cmj (34859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265789)

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't want them to get mine.

Re:This would make a great addition (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265835)

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.

New geek pickup lines coming as a result of this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265135)

Hey baby, wanna access my content and services?

Re:New geek pickup lines coming as a result of thi (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265142)

Or here's one from OOP: Hey baby, wanna encapsulate
my member?

Re:New geek pickup lines coming as a result of thi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265146)

Or when you're in the moment: Who's your base class?!

Re:New geek pickup lines coming as a result of thi (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265266)

C++
"::"

Java
"super()"

I still hear the Southparks gay guys voice in my head when i write:

Constructor()
{
super();
}

Re:New geek pickup lines coming as a result of thi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265518)

I tapped my PDA on this girl the other day, but she didn't open any ports. Man that was one tight firewall.

Re:New geek pickup lines coming as a result of thi (1)

SalsaDot (772010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265625)

Look! Its Polymorphic! How about coming back to my Private Function? Why dont you bring your Friends for some Multiple Inheritance? Before I could Stream, she ended up Overloading my Operator... what an Exception! In the end, she was just too Abstract.

Slashdotted.. mirror available.. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265136)

It's already Slashdotted. I've put up a mirror at rokbom.com [rokbom.com] . Hope that helps.

Movie tickets? (5, Insightful)

JMJ (15496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265139)

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? (4, Interesting)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265184)

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?

Re:Movie tickets? (1)

Serious Simon (701084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265240)

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?

Re:Movie tickets? (1)

cluke (30394) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265398)

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?

Re:Movie tickets? (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266808)

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?

it's distrust of the misuse of technology, not... (2, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266953)

... 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 conceivable place and for every conceivable situation is totally abhorrent. Totally. It's disgusting, and I've been speaking out against it as long as I have been aware of it, because it's incredibly easy to do a logical progression and see what is going to happen. I am almost completely against the entire concept of RFID, and certainly don't want my life to revolve around that technology, although I thoroughly enjoy and use many other aspects of modern technology. I'm as much a gadget freak and tool user as anyone else here, but some things are just better left alone, not to be used, IMO. You see it's called "choice", and millions of us choose privacy, and not turning over our lives and our souls to some corporate profits at any cost technofeudalistic society. We don't want the borg to win, in other words. We've seen what just implicitly "trusting" them has caused. It's not all good, far from it. blindly just adopting technoloyg just because it's new and shiny is not all that smart. sometinmes it turns out whatever was created was a pretty bad idea. Socially, we are still millenia behind where we need to be, technology is just "out there" but it is not being used *wisely* in any manner of ways or places.

In fact, that's a public line in the sand for me, anyone trying to force a microchip, for ANY reason they concoct,iiregardless of any authority they purport to be or represent, on me, against my will, is going to be met with instant ultra violent force from me TO them, in the most efficient and technologically advanced manner I am capable of at the moment. In addition, I will personally shun any human I am aware of that has accepted any sort of embedded "chip" no matter the stated purpose. I would literally harangue, yell at, cuss out, and spit in the face anyone who wanted to microchip "shake hands" with me. And I encourage others to do the same.

A lot of us out here are not in any way, manner, shape or form interested in becoming cyborgs, or being part of some hive mentality-termite society, which is the obvious direction this technology is leading us to, along with some other technologies.

Others will choose differently, and so it goes. Guess what, men will win, machine men will eventually lose. It will be a big fight, but pure humans who value "human-ness" over all else will win. Call that a prediction.

This microchip crap and tagging, etc, is just *wrong* and SO wrong that it can and will cause a lot of violent revolutionary action against it. Eventually. Not sure when, but I am fully confident it *will*. It is also wrong to assume people who value their privacy/indivdulaity/personal soverignty and who think that this complete fascist blend of government and international business that all of us are currently serfing away under are in any way "luddites", far from it, we just think "they" have enough power/control/information about us and over us already, they certainly don't need more than what they have now, and we don't care how "convenient" it makes it for them, or how much more "profitable" it is for them to use this technology. SCREW em basically, enough's enough.

And THAT is why you see more people at the cash line, and less at the borg line. One of the reasons anyway. Another is, is that for casual purchases, CCs are stoopid. People all over are using CCs less, because they got burned so bad in the dot com alleged "boom" years. That's why they keep having to drop interest rates, people noticed it is more "interesting" to stay within a budget,to hang on to their own money, and not turn over a big slice of their income to skimming middlemen, who basically make a lot of something for doing a lot of nothing. When the "convenience" of using CCs is costing you several thou a year in pure interest, you start to notice. Debit cards are different, but again, you are turning over just more info to go to the big spammer/corporate/government databases. Screw em, they got enough "data" to choke on now.

Re:Movie tickets? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265873)

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? (2, Informative)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265903)

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 *don't* carry cash and I hate signing charge slips.

GTRacer
- ...because then they'd know my real name, see?

Re:Movie tickets? (3, Interesting)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

kinetic repair? (3, Funny)

JTMON (313481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265140)

"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?

Re:kinetic repair? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265298)

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 :-)

Elegant solution to 802.11 security (5, Interesting)

domQ (760908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265152)

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.

Re:Elegant solution to 802.11 security (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265185)

Them WLAN cables is not exactly new [cgi.ebay.de] , you knows? ;)

Fish's here [altavista.com]

Re:Elegant solution to 802.11 security (1)

domQ (760908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265250)

This brand of WLAN cables has its share of crosstalk problems I reckon :-)

(Uh, literally selling a bunch of hot air on EBay and reaching 10.5 euros? Did any money actually change hands?!)

Re:Elegant solution to 802.11 security (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265371)

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?"

Re:Security and metaphors (1)

domQ (760908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266769)

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 the phone number for).
  • I was talking about security, not useability. Computer security is rocket science right now and is in dire need of convenient metaphors [skyhunter.com] if users from the general public are to cooperate (which they must - witness the "Don't open those attachments!" injunction). Do you really expect all users to manually perform the dance of exchanging a session key (unique per MAC address, for scalable revocation, and 128-bit long, for security) with the wireless access point using their keyboard and a LED display on the a.p. (to prevent man-in-the-middle)?
  • Exactly what in my post gave you the "snotty" impression that I consider users=idiots? Metaphors are great for all kinds of homo sapiens (including myself), because it allows one to operate a well-engineered GUI (e.g. Excel® - a good piece of software from Microsoft® if ever there was one) and discover how it works as one goes, without ever needing to RTFM. Worth a lot of time and money.

"what if someone walks through my invisible wire?"

The same thing as if someone walks through your remote's infrared beam. Physical circumstances are not the same of course (messing with 802.11 requires a microwave or a grotty old electric shaver, maybe), but this doesn't cause the metaphor to fall short. And even if it did, that would not be so much of a problem [pixelcentric.net] .

Dyslexia (3, Funny)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265190)

I could have sworn it said:
Invasion Research & Technology(...) when I glanced on the blurb for the first time.

Data you say... grin (1)

howman (170527) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265207)

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 to compare a number of items once I have the specifications downloaded. Perhaps even be able to choose, customize and order the item all from the comfort of my personal segway shopping cart.

The Beast? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265222)

The end is coming. Soon we can't buy anything without RFID, read the Bible dudes...

RFID IS GOOD!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265238)

*skips about*

Yaaaay!!! RFID is go great!!

Now we can track! the movement of goods from creation to the factory floor!!!!!!!
Now we can get better information on consumers so we can better pitch out products!!!!!

*skips around smiling*

Yippie!!!

I have nothing to fear from RFID!!! RFID is good!!! TV tells me so!!!

*skips some more*

No one is "spying" on me when I use RFID!!!! No one would ever do that!!!! I will blindly embrace this new technology gladly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*skips and smiles*

I love RFID!!!!! It make us more competative!!!! TV tells me so!!! I love electronic voting as well!!!! It's so cool!!!!! No one can abuse it!!!! It's foolproof!!!! Just like RFID!!!!! And Telnet!!!! And DDT!!!!! And corperate safety checks!!!! And the Iraq war!!!!!

People with power are nice!!!!! Trustworthy!!!!
I'm TOTALLY Safe!!!!! Yippie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*skips along merrily, beaming in joy*

WORLD'S SMALLEST COCK TOUTED, ATTACHED TO CMDRTACO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265248)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_______|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


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Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

why not just use IR? (2, Interesting)

hak1du (761835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265268)

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.

Because... (1)

blorg (726186) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265288)

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.

Re:Because... (1)

hak1du (761835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9267003)

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.

Re:why not just use IR? (3, Interesting)

rm007 (616365) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265461)

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 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

laigle (614390) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:Oh boy (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265925)

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, the PDA their computing device for heavy lifting.

Why dick around with a big, bulky, tied to the desk PC. These little things do everything they need. What's currently missing is the ability to easily spend money with them. Buy things. Transfer funds. The corps are drooling to get some form of funds transfer (from your wallet to theirs) built into these little things.

"Wanna go see a movie?"
"Sure, we can buy the tickets right here."

Dont deny the killer app cos you cant stop it. (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265313)

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 (4, Insightful)

Luciq (697883) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265373)

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...

Re:Novelty (1)

magefile (776388) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265808)

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.

Re:Novelty (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265947)

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.

Re:Novelty (1)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266059)

I can see the next slashdot poll, "Favorite way to buy pr0n". Too bad nobody pays for pr0n anymore.

Easy on the language!!! (4, Funny)

Illserve (56215) | more than 10 years ago | (#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

lcr012157@yahoo.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265498)

lcr012157@yahoo.com

What happens.... (2, Funny)

Brain Stew (225524) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265548)

when you want to buy porn? Sounds like it could be dangerous to place this reader next to my "device."

NFC vs. iButton (2, Interesting)

chiph (523845) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

What the submitter neglected to mention... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9265763)

...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 (2, Interesting)

radiophonic (767486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265953)

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 to BREAK the device? What if I tap it too hard...with a hammer?
  • How much more intrusive can the advertising people get?

This hurts my head with so many possibilities that are malicious or otherwise.

Re:New Frontiers (1)

radiophonic (767486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9265986)

Did I just say "The clam before the storm"? Oh my, now we do have somthing to worry about.

I think y'all are missing something here. (3, Insightful)

MythoBeast (54294) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266741)

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.

Semacode (1)

hak1du (761835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9267061)

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 payment in Japan).
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