RFID Will Change The Way You Buy & Sell
Auto-ID and Digital Angel use Radio Frequency Identification known as RFID.
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RFID Will Change The Way You Buy & Sell
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The following research was provided by Katherine Albrecht. Both the Auto-ID and Digital Angel use Radio Frequency Identification known as RFID.
" Auto-ID technology offers an automated, numeric system of smart objects that revolutionizes the way we manufacture, sell, and buy products. "
And from the Auto-ID page:
" If Auto-ID is successful, the first change will be that we will actually know what the supply chain looks like for the first time. Today there is more guesswork, assumption and projection than most people realize. Once we know what it looks like, we can see how and why we should make it look different. Other changes: transaction costs will be reduced, lead times for manufacture and delivery will get shorter, inventory will go down, customer availability will go up. There will be more accountability, and with that, more security, safety and traceability. We will wonder how we ever managed before. In 5-10 years, whole new ways of doing things will emerge and gradually become commonplace. Expect big changes. The obstacles that exist in individual companies will be all the usual suspects that get in the way of innovation and that cause even the biggest and best to falter: an inability to take on new thinking, a fear of change, an unwillingness to take risks and make decisions, procrastination. These are the things to watch out for, always.
White Pape: Integrating the Electronic Product Code (EPC)and the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
" The Electronic Product Code (EPC)was conceived as a means to uniquely identify a physical objects. This includes not only retail and commercial products, as with the current Uniform Product Code, but also physical assemblies, components and systems. The Code itself contains very little information, but essential y serves as a reference to networked information.
Together with the Object Name Service (ONS) and the Physical Markup Language (PML), the EPC connects the physical world and virtual world. "
" For objects of a similar type, the EPC serial number provides 36-bits, or 2-to-the-36th=68, 719, 476, 736, unique identifiers. Together with the product code, this provides each company with 1.1x10-to-the-18th unique item numbers - currently beyond the range of all manufactured products. "
White Pape: The Compact Electronic Product Code A 64-bit Representation of the Electronic Product Code
" Since the EPC identifies 'all physical objects,' it must be sufficiently large to enumerate at least those objects of interest for purposes of tracking and identification. The 96-bit version of the EPC code allows approximately 8x10-to-the-28th, or 80 thousand trillion trillion objects - more than sufficient for man-made physical products. "
From: Katherine Albrecht [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2002
Subject: Auto-ID radio frequency tags (expanded version)
From the Auto-ID (MIT) website:
Auto-ID technology will change the world by merging bits and atoms together to form one seamless network that interacts with the real world in real time. Physical objects will have embedded intelligence that will allow them to communicate with each other and with businesses and consumers. Auto-ID technology offers an automated, numeric system of smart objects that revolutionizes the way we manufacture, sell, and buy products.
An Electronic Product Code (ePC) is embedded onto individual products and physical objects on memory chips known as " smart tags " that connect objects to the Internet. Auto-ID technology will allow the Internet to extend to everyday objects. Everything will be connected in a dynamic, automated supply chain that joins businesses and consumers together in a mutually beneficial relationship.
[Insert on related issue: Digital Angel]
They Want Their ID Chips Now
by Julia Scheeres (Wired News)
Feb. 6, 2002
Meet the Jacobs family: Jeffrey, Leslie and their son, Derek. They're a fairly typical American family, middle class and ambitious. The father is a dentist, the mother is an account executive at an interior design magazine and the 14-year-old son plays jazz and tinkers with computers in his spare time.
But one thing may soon make the Jacobses stand out: They could become the first family in the world to be implanted with microchips that contain their personal information.
A quote within the article said this: " To quell Christians' fears, Bolton, the Jacobses and a theologian recently appeared on the 700 Club, hosted by televangelist Pat Robertson. " and gave this link:
Here's what the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) website has to say on the subject. They dismiss " Mark of the Beast-related " concerns over the chip, citing an " expert " who calls such concerns " illogical " and " unfair. "
CBN concludes by saying " . it is another piece of technology that will likely become a part of everyday life. "
[Article excerpts below]
" PALM BEACH, FL - Imagine having a microchip inside your body that would store your identity and important medical information, and might even tell people where you are. Is it a sign of the end times or simply a sign of progress? [snip]
" Applied Digital has been attacked by some Christians for making what some fear is a prototype mark of the Beast. So does this chip, as it is now, have any relationship to the prophecy in the book of Revelation? CBN News asked Regent University professor Doctor Joseph Kickasola.
" 'My judgement is, no they do not, ' Kickasola said. 'I think it's both illogical and unfair to make that assertion, and let me tell you why. I think the Bible clearly says the mark of the Beast is for buying and selling and that it is also coerced, it's government enforced. On the face of it, these microchips are for good purposes, like for medical records, like for lost children. They're not for buying or selling, as is described in the book of Revelation.' "
The tiny VeriChip would seem to contain more than electronics: hope, fear, opportunity, some politics and perhaps a dash of theology. But it is another piece of technology that will likely become a part of everyday life.
[Back to more on Auto-ID]
The greatest technological revolution to shape the consumer goods industry since the appearance of the barcode has begun. Ironically, it couples a technology that has been around for decades--radio frequency identification -- with highly miniaturized computers that will enable products to be identified and tracked at any point along the supply chain.
The new technological wave is a development of the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which was established in 1999.
" The fundamental problem in tracing and counting is identification, " explains Kevin Ashton, director of the Auto-ID Center. " If we can't identify a thing, then we can't count or track it " .... Ashton began championing the idea of embedding tiny wireless computers in nearly every product made.
The MIT-based Auto-ID Center [is] a consortium of academic and industry scientists seeking to replace bar codes with a system that tracks manufactured products with pervasive grids of readers in warehouses, trucks, stores, and the home. Once the infrastructure is operational, companies will be able to determine the whereabouts of all their products, all the time.
The ultimate goal is to put a radio tag on virtually every manufactured item, each tracked by a network of millions of readers in shops, factories, trucks, warehouses and homes.
Consumers, businesses, and products will interact in a dynamic cycle of computer bits and human atoms that will understand each other. Auto-ID technology will create order and balance in a chaotic world.
Auto-ID technology and will forever change global business. Companies who understand what's coming will benefit dramatically.
The ePC (electronic product code) is a numbering scheme that can provide unique ID for any physical object in the world -- each pack of cigarettes, can of soda, light bulb or package of razor blades has a separate ID number.
The ePC code... goes way beyond identifying products. The ePC assigns a unique number to every single item that rolls off a manufacturing line! (e.g. Every single bottle of soda would have its own unique ePC number).
[snip] It is capable of uniquely numbering every item produced on the planet well into the future.
RFID tags are built into objects like food, clothes, drugs or auto-parts, and read by devices in the environment, e.g., in shelves, floors, doors.
[snip] Electronic tags, when coupled to a reader network, allow continuous tracking and identification of physical resources.
Tagged pill bottles in a medicine cabinet could allow doctors to monitor patient compliance with prescriptions, remotely.
The new system will be applied to almost any manufactured item, from foodstuffs to washing machines. Each product will in effect carry its own unique " messages " around with it in the form of an embedded chip. For example, a carton of spaghetti could " tell " a truck to deliver it, " tell " a shop that it had been bought, and then " tell " a microwave how to cook it. " 'Intelligent' and fully traceable products could become a low cost reality within the next few years, " said Mr. Ashton.
The cost of the embedded ID units has fallen dramatically over the past two years, making the implementation of the technology more practical and cost-effective than ever before. The chips, which cost $1 in 1998, have dropped to less than 5 cents each and are predicted to cost less than 1 cent by 2004.
At the center of the Auto-ID system is the RF ID tag. [snip] The Auto-ID center's Ashton describes the tag as " somewhere between the size of a grain of sand and a speck of dust. "
" We'll put a radio frequency ID tag on everything that moves in the North American supply chain, " says Mr. Van Fleet [of International Paper]. He said anywhere from 2 percent to 7 percent of products are stolen or misplaced during distribution, and the new smart tags will let companies like his track them down on a per-item basis.
[snip] Power Paper Ltd. of Israel is collaborating with International Paper to combine its flat, flexible battery with a microchip that can be put into interactive packages. International Paper estimates that more than 500 million smart packages will be used within three years to sell everything from French fries to electronics. Says Baruch Levanon, head of Power Paper, " Most of the technology for smart packages already exists. We just need to integrate it. "
Tulsa, Oklahoma is the site of this summer's (2001) most innovative experiment in inventory management....The Auto-ID Center is wiring the entire city with analog radio-frequency gear that can track packages equipped with microchips. The system will make it possible to track inventory as it moves from point to point across the city. " We're putting RFID [radio-frequency identification] chips on everything that moves. "
[snip] The Auto-ID Center's vision is for [product] identification numbers [to] be transmitted by RFID tags to a global network of receivers along the supply chain-at airports, seaports, highways, distribution centers, and retail stores.
http://www.informationweek.com/shared/printableArticle?doc_id=IWK20010618S 00 01
The creation of an algorithm for uniquely identifying a commercial product by its " smart " electronic tag marks a crucial step towards realizing a physically linked world; it provides the basic infrastructure needed to support advanced versions of global supply-chain management.
Hitachi Europe is looking at the banknote market. The company's Information Systems Group has developed a smart tag chip called Minimum Meu, which measures 0.3mm square and is just 60 microns thick: about the thickness of a human hair. " A banknote is about 100 microns thick, so the chip could be put inside one, " says Peter Jones, the company's pre-sales manager.
Mass-production of the new chip will start within a year. It has " attracted a lot of interest and will be a very cost-effective solution, " says Mr Jones. [snip]
In China smart tags are being developed to identify people for tax and insurance purposes.
The European Central Bank is working with technology partners on a hush-hush project to embed radio frequency identification tags into the very fibers of euro bank notes by 2005. In theory, an RFID tag's ability to read and write information to a bank note could make it very difficult, for example, for kidnappers to ask for " unmarked " bills. Further, a tag would give governments and law enforcement agencies a means to literally " follow the money " in illegal transactions. The RFID allows money to carry its own history by recording information about where it has been.
Kevin Ashton, executive director of the Auto-ID Center, concedes there's a Brave New World feel to it all, but adds, " The dollar value of this opportunity, well ... there's so many zeros on the end of it that it's hard to make people believe you. "
Ashton acknowledges that consumers and businesses alike might be very uncomfortable with a system in which the police could find out detailed information about everything in a car's trunk without opening it.
One of the greatest challenges facing the creators of such an infrastructure will be finding ways to allow consumers to opt in or out of the system as it becomes more pervasive. " It's not clear how that's going to happen, " [says Sanjay E. Sarma, an MIT professor and co-director of the Auto-ID Center] " But it's important if companies want to prevent a public backlash against these systems. "
The United States Department of Defense is among the organizations funding the Auto-ID research project. For a complete list of donors who have contributed a minimum of $300, 000 to the project, see: www.autoidcenter.org/sponsors_companies.asp
To keep tabs on Auto-ID, subscribe to Auto-ID's monthly newsletter at
Additional articles not cited:
Search engine advice: If you plan to run your own search on this technology, use the phrase " Auto-ID Center " (not " Auto-ID, " which is a generic, catch-all phrase for any contactless ID system, including barcodes).
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The NCR web site is linked from the Auto-ID home page.
The NCR slogan is " Transforming Transactions into Relationships " .
National Cash Retister (NCR):
" If your company is like many others today, you need far more than strategic insight from the vast amount of information you collect about your customers. You want to use that data to serve each customer as an individual -- intimately, knowledgeably, cost-effectively and securely. In short, you want the ability to treat each customer as your only customer.
NCR technology and solutions are helping thousands of companies like yours do just that.
" First, we enable companies the world over to touch millions of customers, millions of times each day. Whether these transactions and interactions take place across the counter, by telephone, at a kiosk or ATM machine, or over the Internet, NCR is there with hardware, software and solutions that make these interactions easier, more convenient and more relevant to your customers, while giving you and your company the tools you need to gather critical data about their individual preferences, needs and requirements. "
http://www.ncr.com/index4.htm " Check This Out - In a quest for increased customer service, your best bet might be less service - let customers serve themselves
" My local store is just one of 1, 300 Kmart locations that will install NCR Self-Checkout registers throughout the 2, 100-store chain this year. Kmart would like customers to use the POS (point of sale) hardware for quick purchases, keeping the store's checkout lines down to three customers or less. Kmart reported in May that some of the stores had processed almost 40% of their total sales through the self-service stations, proving that I am not the only one with an independent streak.
" But consumers aren't the only ones who benefit from the convenience of unassisted shopping. Even during high traffic periods, retailers and grocers are able to have more checkout lanes open without having to add cashier staff. "
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