Riding the RFID Roller Coaster

For those of you active in the RFID industry, do you feel like you’re on an amusement park ride with momentum climbing, climbing, climbing only to suddenly drop again like the big hill on a huge roller coaster?

The RFID roller coaster ride began in 1999 and continues today with alternating periods of wanton exhuberance interspersed with deep valleys of dark despair. I have personally been on this ride since the beginning as first an industry onlooker and then actively involved from 2000 on with a couple of very successful pilots completed during that time.

For those out there expecting this ride to crash anytime soon, stop wasting your time, as I know from experience that there are solid benefits and business case proof for implementing RFID that will withstand any negative single event which may occur. When you’re able to identify 50 to 85% productivity improvements with a 99.2% accuracy, there is no doubt that full impmentation will come, it’s now only a matter of when not if in my humble opinion.

Additionally, the RFID tag and reader hardware technology itself continues to improve from both functionality and cost perspectives and now there are also exciting software standards such as EPCIS being released to further support the development of a wider RFID ecosystem.

The debate also continues about item level RFID, see our article on Item Level RFID: Where the Big Benefits Are for more, but just as the title says, to get to widespread implementation of RFID, the large scale benefits available from item level uses will need to form part of that ROI picture.

So as we again begin the steady climb from some recent negative misinformation reported on adoption rates by key players, just remember that regardless of whatever future valleys we encounter, the overall trend is onwards and upwards so “Enjoy the Ride!”


Jeff Ashcroft

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