SXSW: A Soccer Ball With A History

Jon Werner, “Innovation Explorer” at adidas reminded us today at OMMA@SXSW how the Internet of Things is going to help us reimagine everyday objects. How about a soccer ball with a history? They are conceptualizing ways of using NFC tags throughout the product line, including soccer balls. This isn’t just for inventory control, either.

Imagine a soccer ball that has a “timeline?” An NFC tag could track how and where a ball is used and communicate that to an app. Was that ball used in the World Cup? Was it the first goal your kid scored in Little League?

Werner talked how, of course, tags let Adidas track inventory, see what is on the shelf and even see what items will be picked up and viewed. It shows how people are interacting with (or not) with product whether they buy or not.

But even more important for consumers, sensors give objects a way of tracking their own history. Is this good or bad? We are a culture of stuff. Now the stuff has a history we can chart. 

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