RFID IN THE NEWS
In your hands is the first issue of this year’s RFID SIG newsletter. This year Arvind, who did a
great job in bringing out the newsletter last year, has passed on the baton to me. As a result, the
regular readers will notice changes in the thrust and approach of the newsletter. However the
objective still remains the same, to inform you and provide the knowledge relevant to the
entrepreneur in you. In addition, we believe that while the technology is very important, it is the
business problem that it seeks to solve that merits the maximum attention. And that is where we
will focus this year, while keeping you updated on the social and technical context.
Without further ado, Let us dive right in ……
Kapil Dev Singh,
Newsletter Chair, RFID SIG.
Big Stories of the Month
1. Wal-Mart announces results of Research Study:
Undoubtedly the single biggest story this month was Wal-Mart’s
announcement of the results of a research study conducted by Univ. Of
Arkansas on its behalf. The study compared 12 RFID enabled stores with 12
control stores and found 16% reduction in out of stocks in RFID enabled
stores. It found that RFID tagged SKU’s were replenished 3 times faster than
non tagged SKU’s and there was 10 % reduction in manual ordering. The
study was conducted over 29 weeks.
The study has been well received by the community. Though some
analysts called for more data. Gartner analyst Jeff Woods pointed that ‘It's
not clear how much OOS [out-of-stock] reduction occurred in control groups’
and also that ‘the study doesn't quantify the impact of OOS reduction’.
a. EPC Reduces Out-of-Stocks at Wal-Mart:
b. RFID update from Wal-Mart:
c. Wal-Mart RFID: More Data Needed:
2. Boeing’s RFID Mandate:
Aerospace and defense (A&D) giant Boeing is mandating the use of
radio frequency identification (RFID) for suppliers participating in Boeing's
787 Dream liner project. Boeing wants its suppliers to use a 64-kilobyte
passive tag resistant to changes in pressure, temperature, and humidity; able
to carry a unique identification number; and carrying a slew of maintenance
and inspection data. The rub? "The smart labels in question...have not yet
even been invented," wryly notes AMR.
a. Boeing's RFID Mandate:
b. Boeing's Flight Plan for Dreamliner Tags:
3. United States Sets Date for E-Passports :
The U.S. State Department says all U.S. passports issued starting in
October 2006 will contain RFID chips. The chip used in the e-passports will
comply with the ISO 14443 RFID specifications and contain the same
information as a passport's data page—the passport holder's name,
nationality, gender, date of birth, place of birth and digitized photo. The chip
will also contain the passport number, issue date, expiration date and type of
passport. The ISO 14443 specifications permits chips to be read when an e-
passport is placed within approximately 10 centimeters of an RFID
interrogator (reader). To prevent skimming, the department will add shielding
material to the passport's front cover and spine. The material is supposed to
make the e-passport's RFID tag unreadable as long as its cover is closed or
a. United States Sets Date for E-Passports:
b. United States to Require RFID Chips in Passports
4. ‘Spy chips’:
Last but not the least, Katherine Albrecht came out with her book,
‘Spy Chips’, regarding privacy invasion by ‘global corporations and powerful
governments’. She marketed the book with panache and the book got wide
media coverage including in mainstream press. She once again demonstrated
the amount of effort that RFID industry needs to put in to inform the layman.
AIM global came out with its spirited rebuttal but unsurprisingly; its coverage
was not of the same level.
a. Privacy And RFID: Are The Tags Spy Chips?
b. Corporations, government to track your every move
c. Spy chips- fact or fiction:
These also made waves:
1. DoD's RFID Progress:
A new report ("RFID: The Right Frequency for Government") by
Professor David Wyld of Southeastern Louisiana University, calls attention to
the fact that the U.S. Department of Defense's RFID mandate is more
a. DoD's RFID Progress:
2. Maritime Industry Next Up To Catch RFID Wave:
Maersk, One of the world's largest shipping concerns is preparing to
participate in a track-and-trace, radio frequency identification technology
supply chain pilot in Asia with EPCglobal Inc.
Hutchison Port Holdings says its partnership with Savi Technology will
help secure the supply chain and reduce costs for companies shipping goods.
a. Maritime Industry Next Up To Catch RFID Wave:
b. RFID Container Seals Deliver Security, Value :
3. Contact-less Credit Cards:
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said that it has begun rolling out its contact-
less credit cards, known as "blink," in the New York and Philadelphia
metropolitan areas. To use the blink cards, customers wave the card near a
reader at the checkout line. The reader emits a tone and lights up to signal
a. Chase Expands Blink's East Coast Presence :
b. Chase Rolls Out RFID Credit Cards in N.Y. and Philadelphia:
4. RFID To Speed Commuting Payments:
After a long wait, commuters traveling between New Jersey and New
York could soon be using RFID technology to board trains. The Port Authority
plans to install readers in 13 transit stations by next spring.
a. RFID To Speed Commuting Payments For Some Big Apple Workers:
Not to forget these nuggets:
1. An ad campaign on Google??
RFID Ltd., is paying Google to publish several papers on the search
engine that refute allegations detailed in a recently released book "Spy
chips," which paints a less than friendly view of how radio frequency
identification technology is affecting consumer privacy.
However, The point to ponder is, will the future information wars for
the hearts and mind of people be fought on Google ads? Is this a sign of
things to come?
a. RFID Firm Turns To Google For Image Campaign
2. RFID in Postal Services:
Microsoft has held talks with India's postal service about using the
RFID system. Microsoft India says these talks are still in the early stages. If
RFID were deployed by India's postal service it would probably be used for its
premium, SpeedPost service.
FedEx's NetReturn API shipping network has begun a unique project
with Intellareturn Corporation, USA, to reduce the cost and labour involved in
a. RFID in Postal Services:
b. RFID in the Postal and Courier service
3. RFID and food trace-ability:
A new temperature logging radio frequency identification (RFID) tag
targets food processors and handlers who need to comply with the latest EU
requirements and pending US traceability legislation.
a. RFID tag tracks temperature for food processors:
4. RFID in Jewellry store:
Damas is trialing radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in its
stores in the UAE, prior to a global rollout. The jeweller is using RFID tags to
cut inventory costs and make it easier to guard against theft.
a. Damas trials RFID in UAE jewellery stores:
5. Cashless payment system for Amusement parks:
PDC is showcasing its Cashless payment system for Amusement parks
and water parks. The System consists of Smart Kiosk, Smart Band(R) RFID
Wristbands, and Smart Readers, all located throughout a venue for quick and
easy purchases. Smart Kiosk is a freestanding booth with touch-screen that
allows patrons to load money using cash, credit or debit cards onto Smart
Band RFID Wristbands, which are typically provided to patrons at admissions.
Smart Reader is a freestanding combination POS system and reader that
replaces the need for expensive stand-alone POS systems and readers.
a. Precision Dynamics Corporation to Debut RFID Cashless Payment Solutions for
Amusement and Water Parks at IAAPA
Mark Your Calendars
Upcoming RFID SIG Events:
Contact-less Passports, Dec 5th, E51-376, MIT, Cambridge
Contact less payment Systems, Jan 9th, E51-376, MIT, Cambridge
Active RFID Summit USA 2005 - November 15-16, Marriott Plaza, San Antonio, Texas, USA
RFID Telecom Conference 2005: Towards a Sensor Based Environment, November 29-
December 2, 2005, Paris, France. Contact: http://www.upperside.fr/rfid2005/rfid2005intro.htm
1. Vice President, RFID / Label Sales: Lowry Computer Products, Brighton MI,
2. Product Manager - RFID Hardware: MARKEM Corporation Keene, NH
3. Sr. RFID Engineer Savi Technology Sunnyvale, CA
4. Managing Consultant - Consulting Verisign Dulles, VA
5. Sr Consultant - Consulting Verisign Dulles, VA
In the end, Let me reiterate that our goal for this SIG is to provide its members a
chance to promote and strengthen the process of starting and growing RFID-related
companies by providing services and programs that educate, inform, and support the
entrepreneurial community. Our monthly events, this newsletter and discussion
board (at http://eforum.proboards24.com/index.cgi?board=RFID) are all geared to
build, nurture and support the RFID community in New England area. We welcome
all suggestions or feedback in terms of this newsletter, topics for events, speakers or
any other thing that may be of interest to the community. The organizing committee
is made up of volunteers and we welcome your participation in organizing the
upcoming events as well. Our contact emails are given below and we look forward to
hearing from you.
Kapil Dev Singh
RFID SIG contacts
RFID SIG Chair: Marketing Chair:
Stephen Miles Arvind Ballakur, Ph.D.
Program Manager, WAN SIG Technical Manager
MIT Auto-ID Labs Global Operations Engineering
Cambridge, MA 02139 Lucent Technologies
617-324-1519 N. Andover, MA 01845
Sponsorship Chair: Newsletter and Discussion Board Chair:
Michael Radin, Esq. Kapil Dev Singh
Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers Application Consultant,
Boston, MA 02199 Demantra,
617-218-2035 Waltham, MA 02451