In 2005, companies began to think of RFID as more than just a future technology. Consultants and standards bodies have been preaching the merits of the smart tags for years, but the infrastructure and investment requirements were such that only brave early adopters were willing to accept the challenge.
Wal-Mart, for example, is probably the most common name mentioned in the same breath as RFID. It almost became the cliché case study when anyone was trying to prove that the technology has legs. We’re practically past the proof-of-concept stage and moving into an era where it’s a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if,’ as far as RFID deployments go. A Canadian notable is Staples Business Depot, which was among the first in this country to take the plunge and enter a pilot program using Gen2 tags, the most recent standard. IBM Canada also threw its weight behind RFID, opening a national centre, initially focusing on the possibilities of the scanning technology in agriculture and retail.
In terms of future rollouts, 2006 may look a lot like 2005: baby steps. But those steps are being taken and may turn into strides before too long.
RFID in the news:
Staples Business Depot deploys Gen2 tags in RFID pilot
Retailer among the first in Canada to apply EPC standard
Software consortium brings open source focus to RFID
Founders aim to create code library along with full-blown applications
Agriculture industry explores RFID role in food quality
Traceability of meat and produce critical with gov’t mandate pending
SAP extends RFID partnerships
Deal with Intermec to bring its data collection platform to Business One
Where RFID could be
What’s the radio frequency, Canada?
Scan now, save later
Expertise and training:
E-commerce body urges Canadian support for RFID
“We’re being left behind by the lack of industry initiative,” exec says
CompTIA prepares to test for RFID expertise
Certification will cover maintenance and deployment of smart tags