Radio frequency identification technology has been out and about for a little while now and it’s being used quite happily in our Oyster Cards, for a few contactless payments here and there, as well as in the ears of cattle to keep a track of them. In the grand scheme though, that’s pretty low penetration for something that could be so universally useful. There have been trials with putting the chips in mobile phones so that we can make all our payments through them, but they haven’t hit the big time as yet. What we really want is to then replace barcodes with them, but that’s going to end up making product labels more expensive than the goods they surround, so probably not quite going to happen. The really big one though is whether we’ll end up inserting them under our own skin? There’s plenty of reasons why not in terms of ID theft, unwanted advertising as much as anything else, but it could make payments and all sorts of other actions incredibly fluid and fuss-free. Whatever the final verdict, you can bet that 5 years down the line we’ll be seeing a hell of a lot more of RFID – in everyone’s mobile device at the very least.