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The tiny chip that could power big changes in how you shop

Next time you’re at the mall, take a closer look at the paper price tag dangling from the clothes you take into the dressing room. If you hold the tag up to a light, you might see a dark, salt-grain-sized speck in it. Or, if you run your thumb over the tag, you might feel an almost imperceptible bump. This is a radio-frequency identification chip — better known as an RFID chip — and you can expect to find a great deal more of them in stores this year as retailers increasingly bet the technology can be a critical part of solving their most vexing problems.

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