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RFID is just too useful

That’s RFID as in Radio Frequency Identification for Business.

News.com’s Eric Peters explains the point which RFID has now reached:

Earlier this summer, Wal-Mart announced that by January 1, 2005, radio frequency identification technology would become a requirement for doing business with the world’s largest retailer. A line was drawn in the sand: RFID was going to happen.

More recently, Wal-Mart said it would not put RFID technology in retail stores, and a flurry of “not ready for prime time” RFID responses followed. But Wal-Mart’s retreat from shelf RFID tags neither suggests a retreat on its earlier commitment to RFID nor a signal for the halt of adoption.

Product level RFID tagging may be years away, but a technology inflection point has been reached. Many companies are now extremely interested in the technology, and the potential is just too attractive to ignore. Globally, RFID will not sell more razors or bars of soap. What it can do, however, is redistribute the market share of the different companies that sell razors and bars of soap.

The costs of not making your supply chain RFID-compliant far outweigh the costs and obstacles of implementation. As with other high-impact technologies, the early adopters will get a disproportionate share of the wealth, and the laggards will be the companies who suffer lost market share.

So RFID (like surveillance cameras) is (are) here to stay, and will have to be lived with.

My thanks to David Sucher of City Comforts Blog for emailing me about this piece.

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