Thursday March 12, 2009 3:08 am Leave a comment
Spacetart pointed me at this in the context of “Perfect Information” and it is a vital element of the mix. Although we can expect to see RFID take over from barcodes in the next few years, the principles are the same.
Anyone with a handheld device, like a mobile phone, will (or rather “should”) in a “Perfect Information” environment, be able to scan the code on any product and obtain all and any information about that product that they’ve indicated a preference for.
I, for example, would want to see the costs of production and distribution, including the so-called “external costs” (such as carbon footprint and other damage to the environment). I’d like to see how the price I’m about to pay (if I choose the product) is allocated among those responsible for bringing the product to me – from the labourers who produced the product, through to the shelf stackers who arranged it in front of me and up to the shareholders who will pocket the profit from the sale.
I want to know what’s in the product and, if I’m new to the product, I might want to know how other consumers rated the product.
All we need to drive that access to information (other, of course, than retailers being willing – or persuaded by market forces – to comply by making the information available) is a code on the product which point’s to its place in an indexed database which in turn links us to all the related data. And, for that code to be readable by devices we carry about with us all the time.
All the pieces of the jigsaw are now available. We just need to persuade the retail trade to buy into this new paradigm.