Object Hyperlinking - Tags and Tag Readings Systems

Tags and Tag Readings Systems

There are a number of different competing tagging systems.

RFID tags
A radio frequency identification device (also known as an 'Arphid') is a small transponder which can be read at short range by a transceiver (reader). Since RFID tags can be very small, they are often embedded in a more visible marker to allow them to be located.
A RFID reader can be added to an existing mobile telephone as a shell. Nokia produce such a shell for their 3220 mobile phone. At the moment few mobiles have RFID capability, but this may change, since such RFID enabled mobiles may be used for cashless payments and other purposes.
From 2005 travelers in the city of Hanau, near Frankfurt, Germany will be able to pay for bus tickets by passing their Nokia phones over a smartcard reader installed on the buses. Other applications for RFID enabled mobiles include swapping electronic business cards between phones, and using a mobile to check in at an airport or hotel. Two RFID enabled devices may also be used to enable peer-to-peer transfer of data such as music, images or for synchronizing address books.
Graphical tags
A graphical tag consists of an image on a marker, which can be read by a mobile telephone camera. There are a number of competing systems, including open standards like Quick Response QR Codes, Datamatrix, Semacodes (based on Datamatrix), SPARQCode,and barcodes; or proprietary systems like ShotCodes. The design of such coding schemes needs to be rich enough to include lots of information and robust enough for the tag to be readable, even when partly obscured or damaged: tags might be on the outside of buildings and exposed to wear and the weather.
Graphical tags have a number of advantages. They are easy to understand and cheap to produce. They can also be printed on almost anything, including t-shirts. Barcodes are a particularly attractive form of tagging because they are already very widely used, and camera phones can easily read them.
SMS tags
An SMS tag comprises a short alphanumerical code, which can be printed on a marker or chalked on a wall. The Short Message Service is then used to send the code and return a message. Yellow arrows are an example of this form of tagging.
Virtual tags
In a virtual tagging system there is no physical tag at a location. Instead a URL as a meta-object is associated with a set of geographical coordinates. When a GPS equipped mobile phone enters a particular area the phone can be used to retrieve all URLs associated with that area. The area can be set as a few metres or a much wider area. At the moment few mobiles are GPS enabled and GPS is not accurate in urban areas. The accuracy of GPS may improve when the European Union Galileo positioning system becomes operational.
A hardlink is an alphanumeric combination such as an object's common name or part number that when entered into a cell phone's web browser, targeting a hardlink database, returns information that may have been stored about the target object.

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