RFID and The Big Bang Theory

The TV series popularizes a potential consumer application of radio frequency identification technology.
Published: August 30, 2012

By Mark Roberti

I recently received an e-mail from Jim Donaldson, Impinj‘s senior director of corporate communications, containing the subject line, “RFID on the Big Bang Theory.” I thought this was going to have something to do with companies deploying the technology with a “big-bang approach,” or that maybe RFID would be used to track the recently discovered Higgs boson.

As it turns out, one of Jim’s colleagues had caught a rerun of the television sitcom The Big Bang Theory, in which Leonard and Sheldon were going on a trip. Sheldon, a neurotic theoretical physicist, was RFID-tagging his clothes, and Leonard asked what he was doing.

“I’m simplifying the process of packing for our trip,” Sheldon explained. “See, by attaching RFID tags to my clothing, it will enable my laptop to read and identify them with this wand. I will then cross-reference them against destination, anticipated activity spectrum, weather conditions, duration of trip, etc.”

“Well, that does sound much simpler,” Leonard quipped.

If you’d like to watch RFID in action, Big Bang-style, the exchange is available on YouTube (see The Big Bang Theory—RFID tags).

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor’s Note archive or RFID Connect.