Back in the old days

which wasnt that long ago, we used to have a bit of a running joke called is this the year of RFID (radio frequency identification). The subject wasnt in the least bit funny, but guessing when and how RFID would take the market by storm conjured up some pretty inventive scenarios. However, it did get a little tedious when we discussed this year in, year out.

At last we are now getting closer to seeing the killer RFID apps in place, with Wal-Mart, Tesco, et al.,  making the biggest RFID news ever. But were not quite there yet. There is a lot to be done. We need an army of qualified system integrators, volume production of reliable equipment particularly readers; and we also need plenty of education to a much wider audience, throughout the supply chain, as what has been preached for over the past decade has only been heard by a select group.

Being a professional cynic does help me to curb my enthusiasm and suggest that this is the year that youll hear more about RFID than youve ever heard before. The media world has been feasting on it and event organisers are falling over themselves to invite you to their unique shindigs.

Fortunately we can apply some RFID expertise to help clarify the way forward with this technology. This issue sees our inaugural contribution by Chris Hook, a worldwide-recognised RFID expert. I have a long association with Chris, who currently leads Zebra Technologies RFID efforts. Chris new column is on page 44 of the magazine. Also, Oracle has something to say about RFID and you can read what Edwin Kalischnig, Oracles RFID Leader has to say on page 18 of the magazine. We also have some valuable input from David Weatherby, e.centres EPCglobal project manager. David outlines what support is available from his organisation. And, to show you that RFID has much broader applications take a look at the story on page 48 of the magazine: RFID brings efficiency in handling confidential materials.

Also, if youre not already using it for research and reading, get online to our new webportal Among the wide range of subjects we cover, youll find a range of RFID information online, which should prove useful.

Have a great summer.

Iestyn Armstrong-Smith

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