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Report on the RFID Forum’s Networking and Developer Days
If there was just one overriding message that the 75 delegates on day 1 and the 250 on day 2 gained from the RFID Forum’s Developer and Networking days, it is that the hype surrounding RFID and its applications should be disregarded. The clear message was that it is essential that people view the use of the emerging RFID technology sensibly and realistically.

RFID compliance problems
Business is constantly looking for ways to improve its processes and systems in order to reduce investment in stocks, people and anything else that costs money. It may be a rude word in many areas but without profit there is no business. That is unless you are owned by the Government (no matter which colour) and then increased funding can obtained by raising this tax or that tax.

Marketing plus or privacy negative?
Many businesses are realising that, from a marketing and advertising perspective, the use of EPC provides a tremendous opportunity to “know your customer” and to provide a personalised marketing. By using tags on a wide variety of products, it is possible to logically link the data derived from the purchaser of one product, to other purchases that they make within a supermarket or a shopping mall and to harness that data for the benefit of more targeted marketing and advertising, whether on the basis of the data simply collected from the tags or, from a combination of that data with further information gathered on loyalty/credit cards used to make such purchases and the like.

Look at the wider picture
In the words of the song “Money makes the World go around” How true this is, but how it seems to pass me by with regular monotony. And I suspect that I am not alone. But just where is this untold wealth resting?


Tracking products or people?
The simple bar code on products is gradually being replaced by smart tags that use wireless technology, such as WI-FI, Radio Frequency ID, Bluetooth, Global Positioning System Technology and General Packet Radio Service. Product coding, or tagging in the past, was generally restricted to bar coding which was a relatively passive form of tagging since it required the use of bar code readers to interpret data and the data itself said little more than the identity of the product.
 

RFID: profit or loss?
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is not new and yet it is a major talking point today. But why the hype? Well – the costs are dropping and technology has moved on to take advantage of the benefits. This excitement is not irrational even if the figures quoted are all conflicting. There seems to be a consensus that the revenues will be huge and that RFID will change everyone’s life.


LATEST NEWS


European Commission Publish Working Document on Data Protection Issues Relating to RFID Technology
The article 29 Data Protection working party issued a working document on 19th January 2005 looking at the data protection issues arising out of the use of radio frequency identification technology, also known as "tagging" and also from time to time called Electronic Product Codes.

Electronic product codes – marketing plus or privacy negative?
Robert Bond looks at the use of electronic product codes (EPC), in particular radio frequency identification (RFID) and addresses the privacy and information security issues associated with their use in the United Kingdom.

Generation 2 testing complete
The feasibility testing for the UHF Generation 2 RFID tag standard has just been completed by EPCglobal, moving the organisation close to its goal of ratification of the standard by the end of 2004. There are, however, still several issues that need to be resolved before companies get the chance to exploit it.

Towards the 'one-cent' tag
RFID are normally made out of silicon material, which are ideal for the job, but have a downside - the associated cost of the tags. This means that many companies cannot afford RFID in some applications, and are forced to use either barcoding or manual methods instead.

Target's passive tag tests not conclusive – yet
Major US retailer, Target, has been seriously exploring the use of passive RFID to help secure the supply chain. The company believes that, over the next two to five years, it will see a move from smart containers to smart cargo in smart containers. Target has 1,313 stores, 22 distribution centres and three import warehouses.

New software for RFID labelling
ClearOrbit, vendors of supply-chain-execution software, has introduced new bar-code and radio-frequency identification label compliance-management software that is designed to work with any warehouse management or enterprise-resource-planning system. It is aimed at helping businesses make bar-code labels and RFID tags without recourse to custom code, consulting, or new IT infrastructures.

EPC standards move forward
One important legal hurdle in the development of RFID has been taken off the race course with the announcement that Intermec Technologies has offered to temporarily suspend its recently announced RFID intellectual property RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing program for the EPCglobal Generation 2 RFID standard for 60 days.

Two reports tackle fallout of retailer-mandating
The decision of several major retailers, of which Wall-Mart’s has been the most widely publicised, to mandate an RFID policy has given the companies’ suppliers a problem – either comply or risk losing business. Yet there are still arguments as to whether it yet makes economic sense, particularly from the suppliers’ point of view.

Tagging cars
Demonstrating a classic application of RFID in the distribution business, Autotrade & Logistics Srl (A&L) has selected Identec Solutions’ RFID system - Intelligent Long Range (ILR)- to track and process imported consumer vehicles in Italy.

Studying cases
For many companies, RFID represents that scariest of issues – a technology they are pretty sure they will need to exploit, sooner rather than later, and a subject with an unavoidably steep learning curve. So any source of knowledge on the subject has to be worth some investigation.

elcome to RFID Today, the magazine and online resource for the technologies associated with Radio Frequency Identification. Don't forget to sign up to receive RFID Today magazine.

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Roger Lewis
Editor, RFID Today


 

RFID TODAY MAGAZINE

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CASE STUDIES


Thinking beyond ‘slap and ship’ – optimizing RFID by overhauling the back-end
Few technologies have created such large scale excitement, and at such a cross-sector and global level, as RFID. The technology, and the connected, efficient and integrated supply chain that it will create, is set to eradicate the current inefficiencies that characterise many of the world’s supply chains today.

Seven principles of effective RFID data management
Though the recent publicity might suggest differently, Radio-Frequency Identification technology – RFID – is not new. RFID first appeared during World War II when Allied aircraft carried transponders that would acknowledge radar interrogations from friendly aircraft. Since then, both the size and cost of RFID tags have followed the progression of Moore’s Law to where it’s now feasible to attach RFID tags to a package of razor blades.

Data management – key to RFID’s future success
The market for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is beginning to take off. It is projected to grow by 255 per cent from $900 million in 2003 to $2.3 billion in 2010, according to Future Horizons, a UK-based market research firm.


Handling RFID data accurately and at speed
You could water your lawn pretty quickly if you could use the fire hydrant on your street. But if you hooked up your garden hose directly to the hydrant, you’d wind up with a hose blown apart, a big pool of water and a very angry fire chief.


Supply and demand at the crossroads
Imagine supply and demand are two roads in London that crossed each other. You would build your shop on the corner. Every customer that came in would find exactly what they wanted. Would there be a huge warehouse out the back full of aging merchandise? No.


IDIMAX
IDIMAX provides a web-based service for monitoring and managing remote facilities and intelligent devices throughout the world. They capture real-time status information, proactively initiate corrective actions, provide continuous availability of the associated data with 100% reliability, and analyze historical events and trends.

Tesco leads the way
Tesco has just announced that it will be standardising its RFID infrastructure with OATSystems. OAT Foundation Suite will be deployed enterprise-wide across its network of more than 2,000 locations beginning with 98 Tesco Extra Stores.


RFID and Complex Event Processing
Increasingly, RFID implementations are facing the need to translate raw RFID event data into meaningful information that may be processed by enterprise applications.


Yorkshire and Humber: the centre of new electronic tagging industry
Yorkshire and humber is set to become the centre of Europe’s electronic tagging industry with the establishment of the UK’s leading centre in the region.


Microsoft and RFID 
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is evolving as a major technology enabler for tracking goods and assets around the world. It can help hospitals locate expensive equipment more quickly to improve patient care, pharmaceutical companies to reduce counterfeiting and logistics providers to improve the management of moveable assets.

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