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Want to join in on the RFID fun, but not feeling the whole having a chip implanted in your skin thing? The folks at Alcatel-Lucent want to bring you all of the fun of Radio-frequency identification, without the hassle of invasive surgery with Tikitag. The device acts as a way to anchor Websites to real world objects through the magic of RFID.
We were first introduced to the Tikitag a month or so back, during a press event. Alcatel-Lucent happily sent us a unit to check out, which, unfortunately, was a bit late in arriving, thanks to mailing delays. The Tikitag unit itself is a small, lightweight plastic box roughly the size of a deck of cards. The box has a USB cord that plugs into your PC and a little green light that flashes when the box is plugged in.
The box also ships with a pack of ten tags–little circular stickers with a long serial number on the front and RFID circuitry on the rear. To get started, go on to Tikitag’s site, create a user account, and then plug the box into your PC.
Each of the tags can be associated with a Website or other features like phone numbers accessible through Skype. Users associate the tags through the Tikitag site. The association process is fairly straight forward, though I found that that the site had a bit of trouble recognizing when I was holding a tag up to the box.
Once a tag is associated with, say, a site, holding it up to the box will automatically bring your browser to the specified URL. That’s pretty much it. Tikitag suggests various consumer applications for the device like associating a child’s toy with a pertinent Website, but really, the use of this device seems fairly limited, at best–how swiping an object passed the scanner trumps the fairly simple act of bookmarking a site in a browser is beyond me.
If, however, the concept is intriguing enough to you to warrant purchase, you can pick one up from Amazon for $50.
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