RFID Brings Back the Record Player with a New Twist
More than ever, this seemed to be the year that RFID became ‘invisible’, allowing people to interact with everyday objects in new ways. Across several markets and industries, the use of RFID has created more efficient processes and enabled new innovative personalized services. And here’s a new twist - bridging the gap from old to new, RFID brings back a favorite from the past, making it real again.
So, if you’re like me you had one, maybe two turntables growing up. Big clumsy things that produced sounds that some music lovers continue to prefer over today’s digitally enhanced recordings.
Now, IDEO is using RFID in its project dubbed c60 Redux to bring the turntable to the present, infusing it with modern amenities. Two RFID tags, each representing a song, are embedded into cards, about the size of a playing card. When the cards are placed onto the RFID turntable controller (containing RFID readers), a connected computer plays the designated song. You get some of the feeling of using the turntable, without the fear of scratching the record and making it skip in that same spot forever. And that’s not all.
Remember when we used to make “mixes” from vinyl recordings to tape? Well this new invention would make that easier too. The RFID readers in the turntable scan the cards clockwise, so mixes can be made by placing the cards in a certain order. You could even mix music to make your own songs.
When a DJ friend in Boston saw what this could do, she said, “Wow. That’s insane. I may be out of a job!” While it’s unlikely this invention will replace the turn tables and microphones used by the modern DJ, RFID proves again that it’s a technology that’s easy to integrate into everyday objects and versatile enough to make concepts and ideas of all kinds come to life.
It also gets us thinking about other things from our past that RFID could bring back in modern form.