August 13, 2003

Complete RFID systems

Well, isn't the 3M Digital Identification System tempting? Okay, no, I don't need the whole automated checkout system, and I think the exit detection monitors are too big for my hall. Maybe a roll-my-own with the TI Tag-It™ inlays. They're considered "consumable", so they must be getting affordable¹; and there are 10,000 on a whole reel of the smaller ones... that's at most three personal libraries. I bet I can find two other Seattle-based book maniacs to divvy up a reel.

Despite the good geeky fun, I should think about what good this would do me. I'm not actually likely to wander through my friend's houses with a reader; doing so would probably reduce the number of friends who borrowed books. Might actually reduce the number of my friends. Gadget blowback, very insidious. No, to increase the likelihood of getting books back, I think the old-fashioned physical sign-out card is best. Even when I forgot to have the borrower sign and return the card, they'd see the card pocket, which would have some form of our address on it.

On the other hand, we lose books we have, even though we don't have all that many. A system that made it easy to find books densely packed into the quondam garage might be cheaper than reinforcing the house foundations enough to support the much larger bookshelves necessary to file by subject. (Not that we would successfully maintain a filing system; and the data entry for maintaining a proper index, with some books relevant to several subjects, would be much of the work in organizing them by RFID in the first place.)

What would be efficient and all sorts of geeky would be to give up on keeping anything published too late for it to go online, or not published online in the first place. The current commercial stuff I can get from the city library, which has already reinforced its foundations. In that case I need a Minolta Overhead scanner and more server space...

¹ Although the TI online store is closed as I write, and I can't find TI transponders in the DigiKey catalog - am I blind? - so I don't know.

So wrote clew in Meta. | TrackBack
And thus wrote others:

You can get Alien Technology tags for a bit under $1/ea. in smallish quantities. On the other hand, the protocol they use isn't one of the extremely common ones, so I'm guessing the readers will be expensive and difficult to deal with.

(In unrelated news, I'm glad that this creepy-sounding system for tracking casino and convention patrons feels like vaporware to me. Sounds like the kind of thing a James Bond / Scooby Doo / Walt Disney style supervillain would have…)


yclept: Wim at August 13, 2003 05:18 PM

Spec Wars! Another point in favor of paper.

Can we have the URL for the creepy system? Or was it censored by the supervillian?


yclept: clew at August 18, 2003 11:56 AM

Here 'tis, despite supervillainy. What sounds so vaporous to me is that they specify wifi, which is, what, about an order of magnitude more expensive and bulkier than the other options.


yclept: Wim at August 19, 2003 12:53 AM
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