Lesson 4: Revolutionary New Technologies
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an example of a
technology that facilitates mobile computing. At a toll booth RFID
is what initiates a transaction to automatically debit your travel
account. In doing so it dramatically speeds up the process of paying
a toll, and it expands capacity virtually rather than physically.
Think about taking inventory by riding a bicycle through a warehouse
with a portable reader, or as host Bob Cringley does in the
documentary, on a Segway. We are also just beginning to understand
the potential of virtual worlds. It is possible that sites like
Second Life will revolutionize business meetings and commerce. Maybe
someday we will offer our classes in a virtual world!
Segment 1: RFID
RFID is a technology that is early in its lifespan. Its potential
is great as new ways to use it are discovered. An early application
was toll collection – E-ZPass-type systems sped up toll collections
and added capacity to bridges, tunnels and roads electronically
rather than through physical expansion.
RFID is being promoted for all types of applications from
inventory control to custom messaging. RFID is a focal point for
discussion of innovation, the role of standards, interoperability,
and the problems of adopting a new technology.
Segment 2: Second Life Second
Life offers an example of an application that began much like a
game, but has evolved into another platform to reach consumers and
to conduct business. Second Life opens the discussion of virtual
worlds and virtual organizations. Now that there is a virtual world,
will you go to the virtual mall on your PC to meet friends? Will you
buy goods at the virtual mall, which is not much different than
- Inside the Future: Surviving the Technology Revolution,
Chapter 4: The Power of Online Communities
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