Pre-Internet of Things Objects ID

One of the current obsession consists in observing the meta-data given to things in the physical world. They're generally used to give an ID to a certain artifact (in order to performance maintenance acts) or its status. Some examples recently encountered: Power plugs at London Heathrow:

Extension chord at the local design school:

Switch at Lift Conference offices:

Why do I blog this? I use this as an example in talks/courses about innovation to show that so-called "breakthrough" (such as the Internet of Things) should be pondered... and the evolution of technology is a: - A slow movement: the idea of giving an ID to objects is not coming out from the blue, it existed before the IoT, - Technology is not the only underlying factor here: the "social" (here: a decision between a group of people to name artifacts to keep track of their status) and the "technological" (here: the thing itself as well as meta-data systems/reading devices) are closely intertwined.