Radio Frequency Identification Tags
There is a new technology on the horizon. This technology is known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. These tags are designed to carry product information, and are destined to replace bar codes. RFID tags will be placed in product packages to aid in the checking out process at shopping centers.
Even though the technology won't show up in stores for a few more years, cell phone manufacturers are already thinking of ways to incorporate it into their cell phones. They hope that this technology, combined with the Internet, will give shoppers new ways of buying things.
How this will work
Each product you buy will contain a RFID tag. The tag will remain active, even after you have left the store.
So lets say you buy a pair of sneakers, and your friend likes them. To get more information about the sneakers he will simply point his cell phone at them, and in an instant he will have the information. This information may include the product name, price, and purchase place.
Now say your friend decides that he wants to buy the same pair of sneakers. To do this he will simply press a few buttons on his cell phone. This will connect him to the Internet, and his order will be placed with the retailer. When the retailer receives his order they will fill it, and then they will ship it to his house.
While this technology is still a few years off, it is an exciting, promising technology. The above scenario is just the tip of the iceberg for this technology. Companies will find many other things to use RFID tags for. Until then, we will have to be content with bar codes, and our camera equipped cell phones.