Tag Archives: radio frequency identification

Meditations on first concept

9 Jan

Navigating the rivers of thought for a solution…


Of the 3 seed ideas from the previous post, through

looking and re-looking,

wondering and day-dreaming,

comparing and sieving,

I had come to a decision. It wasn’t one of those “Aha!” moments where instant illumination drops down from the sky, but more like a clear-water stream gently flowing and meandering through the expanse of random thoughts, cleaning out the landscape while at the same time refreshing it with clarity. So I thought I’ll share further meditations on the ideas.

The Green Bag

True. ‘Green’ consciousness had come a long way and now, more than ever, people are wanting more from businesses and governments in terms of ecological sustainable practices. So people might recycle and reuse the bags, fulfilling the 2 “R”s. But the third “R” would be more difficult – what incentive would they have to return these bags to the library? In more likelihood it would be tossed into a pile of other bags when they get home and another would take its place when they need to use one to carry books to the library. It would be truly lost. Moreover, if it’s going to be really well-designed and nice-looking to keep, users would have even lesser reason to return it. Encouraging readers to return the bag simply through advocacy would entail them to learn new behaviour which is a high barrier.


The High Street Bag

A great-looking fashionable bag would definitely get readers interested and start using, but it suffers from the same predicament as people wanting to keep them instead of returning. A rewards scheme for returns is certainly an attractive and familiar way of ‘pulling’ users towards a behaviour we wish to influence, though the budget implications may be huge. If budgets are low and the free rewards and gifts are perceived to be pretty ‘cheapo’, then there’s little ‘pull’ indeed for the again new behaviour they have to learn (‘push’ factors). Besides, what are the men going to do with these fashion bags?


The Book Bag

A book-like [book/bag]. Initially, this idea sounds ‘flat’, pretty normal or even average. On a visceral level, it seems to be nothing surprising, nothing too exciting either. But I feel it’s really more of something familiar, something easy-going. Readers are already handling and borrowing books at the library, so having to handle an extra ‘book’ [/bag] would be little obstacle as there’s almost no new behaviour to learn. If this [book/bag] can mimic the behaviour of other books, then there’s even less barrier of adoption. Technology (in the form of cheap radio frequency identification tags) used on the library books are already in place, and all this [book/bag] needs is a RFID tag like its book cousins to function as a ‘book’ to be borrowed. With ultra low-cost RFID tags in sight (based on recent research forwarded by local scientific institutions IME and A-Star), this will make economic sense as well. On a reflective level, the design can be crafted in such a way that would have visceral appeal to the public eye – imagine people walking around with ‘open books’ in their hands, always looking like they are in the middle of reading, living and carrying out daily activities while in the midst of reading. It would be a kind of buzz which would benefit the NLB brand.


What do you think, dear reader? My gut feel is for the Book Bag, but I’ll leave to the next post to highlight the decision-making frameworks which would help me decide with more [rational] certainty…