Second Life to introduce virtual RFID tags

One of the presentations at Barcamplondon2 today was given by Jim Purbeck of Linden Labs who are the company behind Second Life (“SL”). He outlined plans that would overlay meta-data onto all the objects that existed within SL. This notion was described in the context of virtual RFID tags.

As such SL objects henceforth could be individually

  • identified
  • rated
  • commented upon
  • tagged
  • have visitor histories

and these objects would accumulate properties and data. This information would be publicly available both within SL and could be queried via APIs from outside. The notion about this was that ideas could be easily tried out, with feedback gathered by their developers and views also shared by a wider community.

More significantly, it was advanced that SL would provide an excellent testbed for examining whether RFIDs might add value in the real-world. For example, were they to be embedded into music CD jewel cases, then consumers might be able to both access extra data e.g. reviews, music samples. In addition, consumers might be able to contribute, albeit it was acknowledge that it doesn’t work well in the example since leaving a comment on a CD in a single physical store didn’t really make sense, since their comment was more widely targeted. But it might be a physical store RFID tag. Obviously it was hard to predict what the popular outcomes might be but that was the point.

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