Behind Bars

YOU MIGHT AS WELL BE IN PRISON once the bar code police invade your life in ways you never thought possible. And that’s going to happen very soon, predicts maverick adman Scott G. He sees the black-and-white stripes popping up in, among other things, commercials and songs. Buying will be just a swipe away: With debit card scanners in TV sets, credit cards built into wristwatches, interactive ads, and holographic commercials beamed at you from the likes of postage stamps and car keys, a flick of the wrist is all it will take for the item to be yours. Brace yourself, too, for captive broadcasts, in which product benefits, price, and warranty information will play as soon as you lift up a product in the store. Who’s going to fulfill the onslaught of orders that all this advertising will generate? Why, you, of course. “One day,” says Scott G, “microchips will be embedded under your skin, thus turning you into the receiver for television, radio, microwave, telephone, and global positioning system signals.”

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