September 07, 2003

Note: When Things Begin to Tell You Where They Are

Radio-Frequency IDentification begins to become a reality:

The watershed moment for RFID | CNET ...Businesses can give suppliers the capability to produce RFID pallet or case labels with minimal technology--a browser session and a remote label printer. Then, as cases are unloaded from the truck through an RFID receiving portal, all the information associated with the tags gets captured and updated in real time for better inventory visibility...

Posted by DeLong at September 7, 2003 08:09 AM | TrackBack


the economies of scale and/or the materials/production aren't cheap enough yet. iirc, an rfid has to be at or below 5 cents per passive rfid tag to be economically viable.

From a January 13, 2003 cnet article:

"Alien Technology won't reveal how it charges for each tag, but industry estimates hover around 25 cents. The company does predict that in quantities of 1 billion, RFID tags will approach 10 cents each, and in lots of 10 billion, the industry's holy grail of 5 cents a tag. "

From a July 11, 2003 Techweb article:

"The price of the least-expensive RFID tag today is from 30 cents to 50 cents apiece. Retailers say the price will have to drop to at least between 5 cents and 10 cents to be practical for tagging pallets and cases within warehouse and distribution centers."

and continues:

"The poor performance of RFID technology is also a problem. In trials, users report that scanners used to read product data embedded in RFID tags are often less than 80 percent accurate, which is far less than required for commercial applications, Gartner said."

Posted by: Shai on September 7, 2003 10:45 PM

While I think there is a lot of positive potential for this technology and of course see how it can automate and simplify inventory tasks and control, there is a large movement pushing for what I think is MUCH needed regulation on when it comes to tracking merchandise in the hands of the consumer. They are also organizing a "virtual protest" around an ACTUAL protest on 9/15 in Chicago, IL. The site is linked above, but the URL is and worthy of a look.

Posted by: Shawn on September 8, 2003 10:07 PM
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