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By 2014, All Of Your Clothes Will Be Tagged With RFID Microchips

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Annalee Newitz,
Friday, Oct 9th, 2009

You’ve probably already bought clothing with computer chips in it. You know those big white tags that you’re supposed to cut out of the garment once you’ve bought it? Hold one up to the light – if you see a very obvious pattern in it like the one above, then it’s got an RFID tag in it. Now tech market research group ABI Research has released a new paper showing that three times as many clothing items will be tagged with RFIDs by the year 2014.

RFID tags, sometimes called “smart tags,” hold a small amount of data and contain an antenna (that’s the curly shape you see) that allows RFID reading devices to read at that data remotely. A reader can be a handheld device that people wave over the tag at the checkout counter, or a device hidden in a doorway that checks the tags on your clothing as you walk down the street.

According to a release about the ABI Research brief:

Previously limited to a small number of large-volume pilot tests, adoption of item-level RFID is beginning to permeate throughout the apparel sector and is increasingly evolving into full-scale implementations. According to Liard, “While installations at Marks and Spencer in the UK, American Apparel in the US, and Charles Vögele in Switzerland remain the largest contributors to market growth, scores of companies are now in various stages of implementation. RFID in fashion apparel is undoubtedly here and now.”

Just remember, kids, all your American Apparel clothes contain antennae that broadcast information about you. And in 5 years, three times more “apparel items” will be likewise tagged. Neat, right? Let the zombie infestation begin!


This article was posted: Friday, October 9, 2009 at 3:37 am

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