Tuesday, November 23, 2004

New Area of Interest - RFID

I am constantly looking for new and exciting technology opportunities and spend a bit of time properly researching life's offerings.

Prior to webMethods consulting, I worked in database development and then on to mobile and wireless (palm, wap and hdml) product development.

I've always been a gadget guy. First to buy the new gizmo.

Surprisingly, I'm looking at a really old technology that over the last decade has really taken off:


RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID provides the logistics and supply chain with the ability to monitor the status of an RFID shipment anywhere in the world. Well, it's supposed to anyway.

During World War II, the British used a crude kind-of RFID to track planes returning from bombing runs so they could tell if a returning place was friend or foe.

In everyday use, a shipper places a small passive or active RFID tag on the item, case, or pallet and based on the type of RFID tag, an amount of data is passed back to the tracking entity.

A passive RFID is kinda like RFID lite. It possesses just basic information on a barcode and has to be within a few meters of an RFID reader.

The active RFID tag contains a power source and an antenna and can TRANSMIT data to a satellite-based system (i.e. reader).

Check out RFID Journal for specifics.

In reality:

Walmart requires all of it's 10,000 plus vendors to comply with their RFID standard.

The largest user of RFID in the world is the US Department of Defense with 43,000 vendors.

During the gulf war, it was estimated that the DoD could have saved over 2 billion by having vision or knowledge of order status of goods. In the Iraq conflict, DoD has saved over 300 million by not over-ordering products and knowing exactly where shipments are.

webMethod's recently OEM-partnered with OAT Systems Inc. to provide an RFID framework solution embedded in the webMethods platform.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a great new DoD RFID application. How about using RFID to track production and delivery of the "uparmored" HUMV's to Iraq. I'll right the webMethods app to send an email to the New York Times each time one rolls of the production line and each time one offloads into Iraq. If my app were already in place, they would have received nearly 17,000 emails already. Two for each of the 8,400 already in theater.

1:26 PM EST  

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