For ye futurists in training, WESC gives us Karmatech, a line of tennis shoes outfitted with RFID that users opt to activate once they get home.
The video illustrates the possibilities and setbacks: an RFID-outfitted “social shoe” can automatically update your socnets and flash personalised (if otherwise unimaginative) hello’s to you from the brand while you’re out in the world, struttin’ your shit. (Mini Cooper did something similar using billboards and RFID-equipped keyfobs in 2007.)
Park your foot against the side of a participating bar to get a free drink on WESC, have a photo of you instantly sent to your Flickr, or even access VIP toilets.**
But this is all heavily reliant on the prevalence of WESC RFID readers (those black things that look like doormats) every potentially cool place you go. In a big city, odds of finding such a thing are hit or miss unless WESC goes all Coca-Cola on our asses. But a quick fix would be an AR mobile app that apprises you of places with a WESC RFID reader within proximity or by category (bar, theme park, library, photo booth).
But that’s primitive compared to what could be. In the future RFID readers may be in everything our feet or bodies are likely to touch, able to flash whatever messages our brands du jour want to share at any given time, everywhere we are. That is, if facial recognition technology doesn’t bring us there first (and we won’t even have to touch anything!).***
Run, team RFID, run!