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It's not about the technology—it's about what the technology can do.
May 05, 2008—At RFID Journal LIVE! 2008, we showed a three-screen video montage that began with images of numerous business problems, such as out-of-stock shelves and large piles of airline baggage. The video strongly suggested radio frequency identification could solve many of these problems—all of them, actually.
I told the audience I was of two minds about the video—it was a great introduction to the event, I said, but I felt a little uncomfortable with the evangelistic tone. "You might find this strange," I explained. "But I don't see myself as an evangelist for RFID. RFID is a tool, so to me being an evangelist for RFID is like being an evangelist for a hammer."
Ray's analogy to privacy advocates opposing RFID got a big laugh. And you know, he's right—new technologies do need evangelists. When the polio vaccine was invented, people had to go around convincing doctors it worked, and that people should use it. And, sure enough, there were those who claimed injecting a virus into people was a nutty way to cure them.
So while I still don't see myself as an evangelist for RFID—I don't advocate that companies employ the technology simply for the sake of using it—I do see myself as a responsible journalist, and a publisher who promotes RFID where and when it can solve business problems. That distinction, to me, is very important.
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