Florian Wesch, a computer science student from Durlach in Germany, has worked out a way to store a tune on the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags now attached to most goods. To squeeze a jingle onto a tag’s 1-kilobyte memory, Wesch used the compressed music format employed by the Commodore 64 home computer of the 1980s. When the tag is scanned at the checkout, it would send the tune to be played by the tag reader.
It’s not bad enough that RFID tags will soon be used to track our every movement (Real ID, VeriChip, etc.), but now they’re going to force us to listen to crummy commercials, too. But I question the method: What’s the point of playing the jingle when you’re already at the checkout?