collectable rfid

ImageBack in the 1990’s I was working for the Technology and Innovation group at the now-defunct Arthur D. Little consulting firm. At that time we were doing some work with the then nascent contact-less smart cards. Having recently discovered the multi-colored cardboard crack that is Magic: the Gathering, I thought it would be a great idea to develop a contact-less smart card version of the game where a console would be used to read and write the cards that would store all the stats about your play and the monsters and characters represented by the cards. Unfortunately the idea had already been pitched to another client so I couldn’t do any internal development for patentable IP on this one. Fast forward ten years and I am working at ThingMagic, developer of technology for reading and writing the now much cheaper UHF RFID tags. I pitched my idea again there but it was not in line with the core business so it never gathered any steam. Roll forward to my most recent work at FIrst Act where we used toy-class RFID from Nuvoton in the Voice Rockrz voice-changing microphone. The tags are in bling that ships along with the microphone that contains a reader. Tap the tag to get the new effect. It was fun but I of course still wanted to do something with my old idea of the collectable with RFID. ImageThat didn’t happen there either…..and now present day and we see my decades-old idea is on the market from Activision in the Skylanders product. From one review: “Using a plastic platform about six inches in diameter, the figures connect wirelessly to your video game system…As with other games, you still control their characters on the screen. But you need the figures, which store data and transmit characters’ histories to the nearest game console. Each works like a wireless thumb drive for data storage. Connect it to the system, and the game recognizes all that the character has been through.” Sounds very cool…and very familiar….I may need to buy this game just to see how they implemented that idea of mine from way back when.

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