May 13, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Library books containing small wireless RFID chips inventory themselves and automatically connect the user's library card, books carried out of the building and the library's checkout database. Toll road sensors communicate with pass cards in commuter vehicles and debit a database of prepaid travelers.
In the future, advocates imagine a worldwide "Internet of Things" in which refrigerators report when food reaches its expiration date, automobiles communicate to avoid accidents or traffic jams. Baggage routes itself within airports, and everyday objects connect, report, and interact.
According to EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding, the worldwide market for the RFID tags is growing, and will be worth some 20 billion Euros by 2018. But privacy is a growing issue as well, and today the EU adopted RFID privacy recommendations that include the following:
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.