Conclusion

Conclusion

Katina Michael (University of Wollongong, Australia) and M.G. Michael (University of Wollongong, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-795-9.ch016
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Abstract

This chapter is dedicated to identifying the main outcomes of the study and reflections on the future directions of the technologies that were under investigation. In concluding we have found that first, an evolutionary process of development is present in the auto-ID technology system (TS). Incremental steps either by way of technological recombinations or mutations have lead to revolutionary changes in the auto-ID industry- both at the device level and at the application level. The evolutionary process in the auto-ID TS does not imply a ‘survival of the fittest’ approach, rather a model of coexistence where each particular auto-ID technique has a path which ultimately influences the success of the whole industry. The patterns of migration, integration and convergence can be considered either mutations or recombinations of existing auto-ID techniques for the creation of new auto-ID innovations. Second, that forecasting technological innovations is important in predicting future trends based on past and current events. Analyzing the process of innovation between intervals of widespread diffusion of individual auto-ID technologies sheds light on the auto-ID trajectory. Third, that technology is autonomous by nature has been shown by the changes in uses of auto-ID; from non-living to living things, from government to commercial applications, and from external identification devices in the form of tags and badges to medical implants inserted under the skin. This does not negate, however, the inherent qualities embedded in auto-ID technologies, predisposing them to be used in certain contexts. What we have witnessed especially in auto-ID is a movement we have termed the auto-ID trajectory: from bar codes to chip implants towards the electrophorus who will herald in the age of uberveillance. Convergence of embedded automatic identification technologies with location-based services will offer unprecedented capabilities, but these capabilities will come at a high price.
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The Auto-Id Trajectory

This chapter is dedicated to identifying the main outcomes of the study and reflections on the future directions of the technologies that were under investigation. In concluding we have found that first, an evolutionary process of development is present in the auto-ID technology system (TS). Incremental steps either by way of technological recombinations or mutations have lead to revolutionary changes in the auto-ID industry- both at the device level and at the application level. The evolutionary process in the auto-ID TS does not imply a ‘survival of the fittest’ approach, rather a model of coexistence where each particular auto-ID technique has a path which ultimately influences the success of the whole industry. The patterns of migration, integration and convergence can be considered either mutations or recombinations of existing auto-ID techniques for the creation of new auto-ID innovations. Second, that forecasting technological innovations is important in predicting future trends based on past and current events. Analyzing the process of innovation between intervals of widespread diffusion of individual auto-ID technologies sheds light on the auto-ID trajectory. Third, that technology is autonomous by nature has been shown by the changes in uses of auto-ID; from non-living to living things, from government to commercial applications, and from external identification devices in the form of tags and badges to medical implants inserted under the skin. This does not negate, however, the inherent qualities embedded in auto-ID technologies, predisposing them to be used in certain contexts. What we have witnessed especially in auto-ID is a movement we have termed the auto-ID trajectory: from bar codes to chip implants towards the electrophorus who will herald in the age of uberveillance. Convergence of embedded automatic identification technologies with location-based services will offer unprecedented capabilities, but these capabilities will come at a high price.

The Evolutionary Paradigm

The evolutionary paradigm has shown us that “history matters”. Auto-ID techniques built their foundations on top of past manual ID techniques, the simplest being facial recognition using human memory. By the 19th century fingerprinting techniques were being discovered and by the mid 20th century auto-ID technologies were being prototyped. What has happened since that time has been cumulative technical change at an exhilarating speed. This rapid change, however, would not have been possible if the building blocks had not been cemented by first generation elementary breakthroughs. As more and more technological advancement occurred within the emerging auto-ID industry, and further support infrastructures, skills and tools emerged simultaneously, the use of auto-ID became widespread. Progress fuelled success and success fuelled progress. While the market in the mid 1960s was not ready for auto-ID, decade after decade thereafter, techniques permeated a diverse range of applications. A domino effect of new auto-ID innovations took place, revolutionizing the way people worked and lived. The conditions for entry were increasingly ‘right’ as ancillary technologies, like networks, storage devices and database software proliferated.

The auto-ID explosion was energized by up-and-coming niche technology providers who had a clear vision for their innovations. Bar codes in retail, for instance, were driven by stakeholders who could see both the potential impact the technology would make and the immediate path ahead. Understanding the sequence of events that shaped auto-ID was a major contribution of this study. Better understanding “what happened” means that efforts can be concentrated in the right places in the future. Rosenberg (1994, p. 23) describes the importance of historical analysis in understanding technologies. He pointed out that this type of analysis is not only relevant to historians but to economists and people in other fields.

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Dedication
Table of Contents
Foreword
Elaine Lawrence
Acknowledgment
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
Chapter 1
Introduction  (pages 1-24)
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
This study is concerned with the automatic identification (auto-ID) industry which first came to prominence in the early 1970s. Auto-ID belongs to... Sample PDF
Introduction
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Chapter 2
Innovation Studies  (pages 25-42)
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
This chapter will explore literature in the field of innovation in order to establish a conceptual framework for the auto-ID trajectory research.... Sample PDF
Innovation Studies
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Chapter 3
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
This chapter takes the reader through a historical tour of identification techniques from ancient times to the present. The histories shed light on... Sample PDF
Historical Background: From Manual Identification to Auto-ID
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Chapter 4
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
National security measures can be defined as those technical and non-technical measures that have been initiated as a means to curb breaches in... Sample PDF
Globalization and the Changing Face of IDentification
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Chapter 5
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
Of all the auto-ID technologies in the global market today, barcode is the most widely used. In 1994, Cohen (p. 55) wrote “...barcode technology is... Sample PDF
Barcode: The Pioneer Auto-ID Technology
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Chapter 6
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
Almost simultaneously that the retail industry underwent revolutionary changes with the introduction of bar code, the financial industry adopted... Sample PDF
Magnetic-Stripe Cards: The Consolidating Force
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Chapter 7
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
The history of the smart card begins as far back as 1968. By that time magnetic-stripe cards while not widespread, had been introduced into the... Sample PDF
Smart Cards: The Next Generation
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Chapter 8
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
Biometrics is not only considered a more secure way to identify an individual but also a more convenient technique whereby the individual does not... Sample PDF
Biometrics: In Search of a Foolproof Solution
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Chapter 9
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
Radio frequency identification (RFID) in the form of tags or transponders is a means of auto-ID that can be used for tracking and monitoring... Sample PDF
RFID Tags and Transponders: The New Kid on the Block
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Chapter 10
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
This chapter analyses the findings from the case studies on bar codes, magnetic-stripe cards, smart cards, biometrics and RFID tags and... Sample PDF
The Auto-ID Technology System
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Chapter 11
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
This chapter is about geographic information systems (GIS) and its relevance to the location-based services industry. One might initially ask how... Sample PDF
Geographic Information Systems & Location-Based Services
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Chapter 12
The Auto-ID Trajectory  (pages 329-363)
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
This chapter considers the automatic identification (auto-ID) trajectory within the context of converging disciplines to predict the realm of likely... Sample PDF
The Auto-ID Trajectory
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Chapter 13
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
The number of automatic identification (auto-ID) technologies being utilized in eBusiness applications is growing rapidly. With an increasing trend... Sample PDF
The Socio-Ethical Implications of Automatic Identification and Location Services
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Chapter 14
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
When Jacques Ellul (1964, p. 432) predicted the use of “electronic banks” in his book, The Technological Society, he was not referring to the... Sample PDF
The Rise of the Electrophorus
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Chapter 15
Uberveillance  (pages 464-484)
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
Uberveillance, also überveillance, is an above and beyond, an exaggerated, an almost omnipresent 24/7 electronic surveillance. It is a surveillance... Sample PDF
Uberveillance
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Chapter 16
Conclusion  (pages 485-496)
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael
This chapter is dedicated to identifying the main outcomes of the study and reflections on the future directions of the technologies that were under... Sample PDF
Conclusion
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Acronyms and Abbreviations
About the Contributors