Monday, January 15, 2007

Ruminating on keitai and RFID

I was just reading a comment about the new iPhone, how it brings little new to the Japanese mobile phone culture since keitai (Japanese mobile phones) are so much further ahead than the North American version. I was reading about all the things that keitai can do.

It brought me back to a discussion I had with Anh last week about RFID tags and what they will eventually do for our library. We don't have a barcode system to sign out books, and I have always preferred to wait for the cost of RFID tags to drop so we could use those instead since they have a lot more functionality. I have an idea about the basic uses for RFID tags, but I figured there are uses we haven't even thought of yet.

Now, what about somehow having the cell phones or blackberries reading the RFID tags? Is that possible (or, should I say, how could we make that possible?). What about someone in a small office pulling up a catalogue record on the cell phone and having that cell phone help them figure out which shelf in the library or which office in their building has the book? What about, if they walk through the shelves in the library, tag clouds from the books pop up as they walk around so they can locate the books that best cover their subjects? (I heard of this idea somewhere else, but using the RFID reader, not a cell phone).

Is anyone thinking about using RFID and cell phones together? Well, keitai apparently have RFID in them. I can't imagine I'm the first to think of this....

And then, someone could use the cell phone to automatically sign the book out in his/her name. And to add additional information to the RFID tag, such as additional folksonomy-type tags and user notes for others to view. How cool would that be?

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