'Open Books' Wins The Xtreme Project
This week Xtreme RFID hosted a first-of-its-kind contest at RFID Journal LIVE! 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The Xtreme Project called for submissions of idease of how RFID technology can be used to benefit a social cause or help solve a social problem. We had incredible ideas submitted and selected the top 3: Recyclanthropy - using curbside recycling to support community philanthropy; Open Books - using RFID to support literacy programs for economically under-resourced schools; Recycling Scholars - a recycling competition between college dormitories that grants scholarships to the residents of the dormitory that recycled the most during the school year.
During the show, attendees came by our booth to review the ideas and use our own product line of Xtreme RFID Tags to cast their vote for their favorite idea. Over the last two days we've heard visitors to our booth talk about which cause could be best helped by RFID technology and we've had conversations about "what's next" and "what's possible" for RFID.
Today at 3 pm, all the votes were tallied and 'Open Books' rose to the top as the winner. Their $5,000 prize package is a combination of consulting and engineering services as well as hardware, the key elements they need to move their program to the next phase. We're excited to be a part of this important project with great potential!
If you missed the show, here's more about Open Books, a concept program which is designed to promote literacy and education through volunteer participation and RFID technology. Access to education and literacy is a privilege which is often taken for granted. In Open Books, students of all ages will be paired with a student or school district in a needy socio-economic neighborhood in the U.S. or internationally. Each time the student visits their school or local library, they can scan their library card equipped with RFID technology to accumulate credits for the number of visits they make and the number of books they check out. These credits will translate to monetary or in-kind donations to the individual or school district they are paired with. Funds for donations can be solicited on a sponsorship basis from individuals or literacy organizations as well as through fundraisers the sponsoring student or school district organizes. These funds could purchase educational materials and in-kind donations could supply the sponsored school district with library books or other supplies, which can also be outfitted with RFID technology to track how often they are used and where they are distributed. These tangible results are only part of the benefit, students can develop a pen pal relationship where they exchange ideas and life experiences, thereby gaining a better understanding of each other and expanding their cultural and social competency.
The next step in implementation of this idea is a local pilot program. Existing RFID technology, which many libraries currently already have in place for tracking their inventory, could be adapted to serve the Open Books purpose of collecting the number of books a participating student checks out as well as how often they are visiting the library and accessing its services.