RFID and Ebooks

October 14, 2008

I recently bought one of the Tikitag starter kits, and have been playing with it. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed, but here’s a nice application with a bunch of Ifs attached.

IF everyone had RFID readers (like tikitags’) and IF the tags were dirt cheap (mass-produced, they wuld be, but no idea of actual figures), inserting them in books would mean you could do nice things like the above. Excuse the self-promotion (or get used to it, I’m afraid), but as well as the paperback of Bookkake’s edition of Venus In Furs, there are also free ebook editions available. So you can stick a linked RFID tag in the back of the book, and tapping it on the reader takes you to a page of free ebook editions of the same book.

Yup, I know it’s not very thrilling. The same could have been achieved with a QR code, a cuecat, or, yes, just by typing in the URL. But it’s something to play with. The idea of the tikitags is to use RFID to create an “internet of things”, linking physical objects to data and communication, as suggested by Bruce Sterling’s “spime” concept, in which objects with pervasive RFID and GPS tracking can record their history of use and interact with the world. There’s definitely something here, but haven’t thought of the best application yet. Something neat for bkkeepr? Stay tuned.


  1. I’ve been thinking about rfid and other markers like qr codes … and the neat kind of spimyness (not sure if we’ve standardized spelling yet?) we could have with books – tracking (if we choose) where a book has been and gone to. Combined with projects like BookCrossing, Bookmooch & Akoha, there’s a pretty interesting geohistory that could get attached to books along with other things. Imagine for instance if there were a web page for every individual copy of a book – linked together to all the other copies, you might have a collection of comments from the various people who read that particular copy.

    I suppose this is the kind of silliness that ensues when you mix book nerds with tech geeks, but it all sounds kind of fun (if kind of creepy too).

    Comment by Hugh — October 16, 2008 @ 3:56 am

  2. […] booktwo/bookkake: IF everyone had RFID readers (like tikitags’) and IF the tags were dirt cheap (mass-produced, […]

    Pingback by RFID & ebooks — October 19, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

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