Violet launches smart RFID tagger

October 28, 2008 // 11:56 a.m.

Tags: #mirror #nabaztag #rfid #smart-computing #violet

If you're sick of seeing the wonderfully geeky technology of radio-frequency ID (RFID) tags being mis-applied and abused by big corporations and even bigger governments, check out the fluffier side of the contactless chips with Mir:ror.

According to the preview over on Gizmodo, the oddly named Mir:ror tech from Violet comes in two parts: an RFID reader for your PC, and self-adhesive Ztamps which you attach to everyday objects so that your PC – via the reader – can recognise them.

Imagine if you plonk your coffee cup next to your monitor and get the day's news, or if you wave your umbrella at your PC and get the latest weather forecast. Dump your car keys on the reader and it would bring up Google Maps with your home location already pre-entered as a starting point. Although Ztamps are available for pre-defined objects, the software allows you to set your own relationship – if you'd like your game controller to take you straight to our Gaming section when you place it on the reader that's completely up to you.

The system is, of course, reliant on the Ztamps that Violet supplies – and you'll be disappointed to hear that the starter kit, due to go on sale in the US for $69.99 – comes with only three, with additional units available in packs of twelve for around $25. While it's unrealistic to imagine that you'd want to tag everything you could possibly cart to within reading distance of the Mir:ror, it's disappointing to see the price set so high. With luck, mass-market adoption of the technology could see this price slashed.

Therein lies the issue, of course: while it's a technology likely to get you inner geek salivating at the possibilities, it's not something that will really make your Average Joe's life any better. Whether this will see use in an everyday household or whether the technology will be brushed to the side like Violet's previous Nabaztag device remains to be seen. I still want one, of course.

Tempted by the possibilities of tagging your objects to make your PC a bit 'smarter', or is the very thought of RFID technology as anything other than a privacy-invading tool of evil anathema? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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