Greengates Builders Merchants

Jeans That Can Track You!

You could be tracked everywhere you go?

What if those new jeans you've just bought start tweeting about your location as you town?

It sounds far-fetched, but it's possible - if one of your garments is equipped with a tiny radio-frequency identification device (RFID), your location could be revealed without you knowing about it.

RFIDs are chips that use radio waves to send data to a reader - which in turn can be connected to the web.

This technology is just one of the current ways of allowing physical objects to go online - a concept dubbed the "internet of things", which industry insiders have shortened to IoT.

This is when not only your PC, tablet and smartphone can connect to the web, but also your car, your home, your baseball cap and even the sheep and cows on a farm.

And as we switch from IPv4 towards IPv6, which will support some 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses, more and more objects will jump into the web.

Smart buildings and intelligent cars with assigned IP addresses are already making cities smarter - and soon enough, the entire planet may follow.

"A typical city of the future in a full IoT situation could be a matrix-like place with smart cameras everywhere, detectors and non-invasive neurosensors scanning your brain for over-activity in every street," says Rob van Kranenburg, a member of the European Commission's IoT expert group.

Endless opportunities

IoT advocates claim that overall inter­con­nec­tivity would allow us to locate and monitor everything, everywhere and at any time.

"Imagine a smart building where a manager can know how many people are inside just by which rooms are reflecting motion - for instance, via motion-sensitive lights," says Constantine Valhouli from the Hammersmith Group, a strategy consulting firm.

"This could help save lives in an emergency."

The ethical worries are manifold... which principles should govern the deployment of the IoT?”

But as more objects leak into the digital world, the fine line that separates the benefits of increasingly smart technology and possible privacy concerns becomes really blurred.

“is this what we really want to be tracked down everywhere we go?” Says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, lancashire