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SCI/TECH: RFID Technology on Display for Industry Giants

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posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 04:12 PM
As RFID technology gains momentum, Wal-Mart and the U.S. Dept. of Defense have looming deadlines for the adoption of RFID inventory tracking. There seems to be plenty of companies ready to supply the equipment and services.

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. -- Three RFID vendors were asked to display their wares Wednesday at the Forrester Emerging Technology Showcase here, as vendors began scrambling to meet the deadlines set by major vendors next year.

Wal-Mart Stores and the U.S. Department of Defense have each set 2005 deadlines for key suppliers to be compliant with a set of standards written separately by each company. Wal-Mart has said that its top 100 suppliers must be track inventory via RFID tags at the crate and pallet level by 2005. The DOD's own requirements are a are a bit more obtuse, but require passive RFID tags to be added to cases, pallets, and items after Jan. 1.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification. The tags themselves are tiny radio receivers that are so small as to be nearly unnoticeable. These tags respond with a unique code when queried by a transmitter, so inventory materials can be readily tracked and identified. The military is interested because of the obvious benefits of accurate inventory records. The retail giants see a solution to streamlining the supply chain and reducing losses to theft. Privacy advocates often envision this technology as a tool to gather data on purchases and even track an individual's movement because virtually every item for sale could be tagged.

This is definitely a technology that ATS members will view with a wary eye in the days to come.

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