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Rampaging Android takes over Main Street America

This is not the theme park you were looking for

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The latest Texan tourist attraction is a residential street, but one that invites visitors to tap an Android tablet against anything in the "neighbourhood" to be shown more details about the object, as well as its price.

Main Street America isn't your typical theme park; instead of featuring rollercoasters or showgirls, the park promises "a memorable, one-of-a-kind learning and buying experience". And, as RFID Journal explains, one powered by Android tablets and NFC tags.

The park, which is already under construction and scheduled to open next summer, consists of 12 large show homes and a visitors' centre. The homes are perfectly appointed to take a wander around and admire the decor, but most importantly, all the fixtures and fittings bear Near Field Communications (NFC) tags for reading with the provided Android tablets.

Altogether 800 of the Android tablets – or Technological Educational Devices (TEDs), as the park likes to call them – will be available to visitors. Initially they'll be using USB-connected readers, which seems a bit primitive, but users will be able to tap any tag to get more information about the product beside it, and to create a wish list that can guide the sales representatives waiting back at the visitors' centre, easy-finance forms at the ready:

It all looks horribly American and takes the concept of tacky to a new low, but really it's not so different from walking around Ikea, looking at the rooms displayed therein.

Main Street America is bigger, of course, and there aren't any meatballs. But replacing Ikea's tiny pencils and impossible-to-spell product names with RFID tags can't be a bad thing, and when was the last time Ikea offered you "patriotic fireworks" or declared itself "A new beacon of hope symbolic of the promise that the American Dream is still alive and well"? ®

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