September 25, 2001

Proctor Ology

Proctor & Gamble's recent forays into "smart packaging" and "the Code" may be the next best thing for inducing mass hysteria in the tech universe since the "paperless office". Embedding unique microchips in the product packaging will allow passive identification of that product anywhere in the P&G food chain. Refrigerators that can modify our TV viewing to target products we now consume and others we may be interested in according to the latest polls are possible, but why stop there?


I can already imagine think tanks debating into the night the potential gains to be realized if the chips are incorporated into the product itself. Imagine, if you will, your doctor having a printout available showing exactly what it is you ate to cause your current indisposition, or your friendly neighborhood septic tank serviceman automatically scheduling service based on actual throughput. Insertion of a boichip at birth would allow associating each delicious spoonful with a unique individual - making this minor operation as commonplace as vaccinations and circumcision would provide more accurate statistical data for the manufacturers. Once again, why stop there, when you can make the implant mandatory, thereby eliminating potential skew and variation in their planning algorithyms?

Expanding the concept further, embedded microchips in ALL our worldly possessions would benefit providers of ANY product with accurate, realtime analysis. The only possible drawback I envision is the unavoidable struggle for bandwith as UPC codes clutter the microwaves. Instead of coupons, passing by a passive scanner mounted on a store shelf could immediately indicate the exact date the shorts we are wearing were manufactured and suggest it may be time to replace them. With a few minor tweaks of the chip technology that allow an internal counter to reset when exposed to phosphates and trackable biomass in sequence, it may be possible that walking by the scanner mounted on the laundry detergent shelf would suggest that at least it may be time to wash them . In the event of a catostrophic loss, insurance companies could have a complete inventory of everything damaged and in need of replacement before the embers are dead or the vehicles have been towed - the fact that the same information would be available for review by the local constabulary and tax auditor should be of no concern. Denial of your claim because the warranty had expired on your furnace or your brakes would only serve to point out the absolute need to review the daily printouts of exceptions and errors in your CODE universe sent daily via email to reduce your liability exposure.

Finally, the day is coming when our corporate benefactors WILL KNOW what's good for us, plus or minus 2-3 percentage points. Psssst ... anybody else heard the rumor that they're working on a chip that would, when consumed, induce a disposition towards purchasing certain products? Film at 11 ...

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at September 25, 2001 06:32 PM