April 18th, 2010

Theme Building

Library of the Future

The Rancho San Diego Branch of the San Diego County Library has been undergoing some renovation.

There's a sign on the front door which says "Welcome to the Library of the Future".

Yeah right! I already checked out a book at the new self-service station, and I grabbed the scanning gun, scanned my library card and the barcode on my book. Ho hum. *yawn*.

Well, that was last week, and the lady came up to me too late and said "You don't have to scan it. Just set it there on the white mat, and it will get it."

At the time I thought "What? The scanner will sense it from over there? Whatever!"

Today Wendy and I were amazed to finally learn what she really meant.

This time she caught me before I tried to scan the DVDs with the gun. She said "Just put the entire stack of [four] DVDs on the mat".

So I did it, thinking, "Yeah right!"

To my amazement, the screen slowly began to display the titles of the DVDs that I'd place there in a stack.

"What????" I thought.

"Okay, you're good to go!" the lady said.

"Wait a minute. How did it do that?" I asked. There was no red lines from the scanner gun, plus it was too far away.

"There's an RFID chip in each DVD", she explained. She even showed me where the chip was located, and had me run my finger over it to feel the very tiny chip beneath the label.

You can faintly see the light reflect differently over the bump made by the RFID chip, just between the two 2's

Okay, yes then I am amazed!!!

ps. I choose to be amazed. Yes, I know what RFID is. I remember the debacle and outcry when RFID was first tested at Target and Walmart stores, secretedly embedded in Gillette Razors. However, I choose to maintain a sense of wonder, rather than the bored "know it all" attitude of the so-called intellensia, educated elite.