Hello, will you be my friend?

As delegates arrived at the meeting, they were handed an intelligent tag the size and weight of a PDA to wear around their necks. Called an nTag, each delegate’s device was pre-programmed with the conference schedule, which could be displayed on a small screen on the front of the tag, as well as with personal information supplied earlier to the organisers. This included the wearer’s contact details, employment history, their professional interests and personal hobbies- the kind of information that people often compare to decide whether they have anything in common. The purpose of nTags is to ask all those ice-breaker questions automatically. The tags communicate with each other via an infrared link to find out whether their owners have much in common. When an nTag finds a good match, it does what any good party host would do and alerts its owner to the other person. —Hello, will you be my friend? (EurekAlert)

Amazing. Geeks aren’t known for their people skills, and some would rather keep typing in their cubicles than venture forth into the world of “Hello” and “How are you today?”

If I went to a fancy event and was given “an intelligent tag the size and weight of a PDA to wear” around my neck, I’d feel… well, I’d feel like a geek. But I guess that’s the point.