Going High-Tech at the Beach

Imagine yourself down at the shore, your toes in the cool sand, the sun shining down, the natural world all around you. Oh, and there's an RFID-embedded bracelet around your wrist.

Ocean City, New Jersey is planning to setup an advanced wireless system that will ease the beach access process, allow parents to keep track of wandering kids, and enable sunbathers to purchase drinks or food without taking out cash – the money will be automatically debited from their bank account thanks to the RFID chip.

Currently, beachgoers have to wear a badge proving that they paid their way down to the sand. And that means the town has to employ a whole crew of people to go around checking those badges. The new system will streamline that process, but it will also have other advantages. Parents especially might like the setup. They will be able to link their bracelets to their kids, so that if one of them slips through an exit, Mom or Dad will receive a text message on the phone informing them that Junior is on the run.—Gregory Mone