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DigiCULT
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use visitor RFID cards in combination
with geographical information systems
(GIS) and CCTV recordings to distil mov-
ing image footage of individual visits--
`automatically generated museum visitor
video ethnographies'. New technological
applications would be needed to automat-
ing the linking the RFID time codes giv-
ing the position of the target at any point
in them with the time codes on CCTV
recordings to extract automatically the
moving image sequences related to each
visitor. Such usage might raise privacy
issues, as Benetton discovered when news
leaked earlier this year (2003) that they
were considering putting RFID tags into
their Sisley clothing line.
W
e continue to make progress
on the next technology watch
report. Readers who wish to
comment on the segments of the report as
they are drafted are reminded (and indeed
encouraged) to do so on the DigiCULT
website.The 2004 Technology Watch
Report will focus on the XML family of
technologies, Application Service Models,
collaboration and virtual communities,
mobile access to cultural institutional
information resources, and cultural agents
and avatars. If readers wish to recommend
projects, institutions, or other activities that
would make good case studies in any of
these areas please contact us.
W
e are looking at new ways to
improve the visibility and take
up of the DigiCULT prod-
ucts. We are pleased that Salzburg
Research's Head of Corporate Com-
munications, Birgit Retsch, who holds a
degree in Communication Science from
the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg,
has agreed to lend her expertise to
DigiCULT's promotion of its activities
and publications.
Seamus Ross & John Pereira
Editors, DigiCULT.info
remain between 50 cents and $1 each.
Although in reviewing proposals by
Benetton to include tags in the clothing it
manufactured, the RFID Journal reported
that `most analysts say it makes sense to
track items that cost more than $15 with
RFID tags that cost 50 cents' (23 June
2003, News Section of the RFID Journal,
http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/arti-
cleview/471/1/1/). Computerworld
reported that Delta Airlines in its pilot
project to use tags to manage passenger
baggage believes that the costs of tags will
fall significantly over the coming year ( 18
June 2003, http://www.ti.com/tiris/docs/
news/in_the_news/2003/6-18-03.shtml).
Indeed the European Central Bank is
examining ways that by 2005 it can in
clude RFID chips in euro bank notes
(http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG200
11219S0016), currently this could only be
cost effectively done for high denomina-
tion notes.
A
s the costs of the tags continue to
fall and the technologies for col-
lection information from them
become more sophisticated it will be feasi-
ble to use them for increasing imaginative
applications. For example, museums might
on the steps that it is taking to improve
access to and preservation of its sound
archives through digitisation.The archive
recognises that while it is essential to cap-
ture the analogue material before the tapes
deteriorate YLE realises they are creating a
new problem because the digital media
themselves are not that stable. In addition
the collection is so extensive that YLE has
to prioritise material.The article draws
attention to some best practices such as the
importance of transferring all the informa-
tion on the analogue media to the digital
environment and only carrying out resto-
ration on copies of the digital material (a
conclusion that work in the area of digital
images has also demonstrated.This article
also represents a significant departure for
DigiCULT.info because it is the first time
that we have been able to include audio in
this Newsletter.
T
he DigiCULT Technology Watch
Report released in March 2003
examined the role of RFID
(Radio Frequency Identification) tags in
the cultural heritage sector.Two difficulties
with RFID tags remain the costs of the
tags and distances at which they can be
read. Recent reports continue to show
their increasing prevalence in the commer-
cial sector and a growing diversity in the
types of applications for which they are used.
A
mong the TWR case studies on
the use of RFID tags was includ-
ed the Sad Business School
(University of Oxford) Library. Since then
Intellident, the company that did the work
at SBS has completed the tagging of
280,000 items at the Colchester Public
Library and more than 450,000 items at
the Nottingham Trent University Library.
One of the problems remains the high
cost. In large sales such as the purchase by
Gillette of more than 500 million tags it
appears to have been possible to move the
cost of the tags down towards about 10 US
cents a tag, but in general they tend to