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Monday, October 25, 2004News.com writes, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a favorite of warehouse operators and some retailers because of how easy product information stored on the chip can be transferred. Nokia said delivering product information to a mobile device using RFID can extend the technology "beyond the supply chain, and into customer service, merchandizing, marketing and brand management."For instance, retailers could put RFID-embedded "touch phone here" signs on store shelves to send a coupon to the phone, or put the same sings at checkout stands to instantly transfer personal information stored on the phone in order to complete a warranty. Nokia demonstrated an early prototype that was built in collaboration with VeriSign, which is proposing a central repository for RFID data that companies can use to relay information about inventory and deliveries to customers and suppliers. The prototype was based on Nokia's 5140 model, with an RFID reader contained in a shell that attached to the phone.One snag facing RFID is privacy concerns. Consumer advocates say the unchecked spread of the devices in libraries and elsewhere could spell disaster for privacy. They envision a future in which a network of hidden RFID readers track consumers' every move, their belongings and their reading habits, though most agree that such a scenario is largely impossible today for technical reasons. RFID's addition to Nokia phones is inevitable, to some industry veterans. During the past few years, cell phones have been tricked out with any number of different wireless antennas--global positioning systems, Wi-Fi, infra red, Bluetooth and soon ultra wideband--in order to increase the phone's usefulness.
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