7
Sep
2004

Inching Toward the RFID Revolution

RFID spending is set to explode in the next few years, growing from $1 billion this year to $4.6 billion in 2007, estimates Wall Street research firm Robert W. Baird & Co. Almost all of this will be in backroom warehouses and distribution centers -- not on grocery shelves or mall store racks. Somewhere in Neuss-Norf, Germany, a customer is approaching NCR's new FastLane self-checkout machine. Using radio-frequency IDs, or smart tags, on every item, the customer's groceries are being scanned on-the-spot and tallied up -- no need to take them out of the cart. At the same time, the RFID tags are being automatically disabled so security sensors will know the customer isn't shoplifting.

The store, called Metro Group's RFID Innovation Center, is a mock-up of a retail environment that displays the bleeding edge of RFID for suppliers. RFID systems, the successor to bar codes, use wireless technology within tiny chips -- or tags -- to track items as they move from the factory floor to store shelf to checkout. The buzz around RFID has been steadily building over the past two years, promising labor savings and improved inventory management.

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Inching-Toward-the-RFID-Revolution-36266.html


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