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RFID and Sensors to Become "Super RFID" in the Future

More expectation came Tuesday that RFID and sensor technology will eventually fuse in function and purpose.
Jan 25, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 25, 2005—More expectation came Tuesday that RFID and sensor technology will eventually fuse in function and purpose. Nigel Montgomery, director of European research at Boston-based AMR Research, predicted at the RFID ROI Summit in London that "super RFID" will combine the object identification capabilities of today's RFID with sensor features that can record and react to environmental conditions like temperature, weight, and vibration. The idea is that in the not-too-distant future, the equivalent of today's RFID tags will not only store information, they'll also observe their surroundings and relay pertinent data back to central systems. Already some early-adopter "super RFID" projects are underway, including BP's effort to track and maintain its railcars.

This prediction is not a new one. IBM saw it all along: when in September of last year it was widely reported that the company had committed to a five-year quarter-billion dollar "investment in RFID," the money was actually for both RFID and sensor technology; indeed, the investment was manifested in the new IBM division called Sensor and Actuator Solutions.

To the layman, RFID and sensor technology are already indistinguishable, so it's natural to assume that one day the seam between the two will disappear. As Big Blue's Sensor and Actuator Solutions' homepage asserts: "RFID is the beginning."

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