Day one of the Nokia summit and I've been tagged – RFID tags are embedded in our event passes.
While I'm not wild about this I suppose it's harmlesss enough. But as we now discover a lot of people are going to be very pissed off. You see, they've integrated them into the event's competition.
A word of explanation. Exhibition organisers sell the space on these events on the basis that stand holders can demonstrate new products and build business. Attendees however know they come here to meet and greet old and new friends (typically in the bar) and maybe see a few displays they already know about. What follows is something akin to hunter/gatherer societies with nervous attendees being stalked by prowling stand holders.
To encourage visits to stand there's usually a competition – get a stamp from the exhibition stand to show you've had a demonstration and the person with enough stamps gets a prize. But the system has a flaw – it's usually a stamp on a piece of card. As generations of attendees have learnt these are usually unguarded or can be transferred between cards by moistening them and pressing them to another piece of paper.
But Nokia's got wise to this and now your RFID gets swiped, something that's impossible to cheat at because the RFID scanners are built into the mobile phones. Technology has eliminated one of those charming little rituals that make shows memorable, buy I can’t deny it's a more secure solution.
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