Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Ask The Experts Forum

BlogsAsk The Experts ForumHow Could RFID and Internet-of-Things Technologies Alleviate Poverty?

How Could RFID and Internet-of-Things Technologies Alleviate Poverty?

Posted By RFID Journal, 11.14.2013

Can you please provide some examples?

—Name withheld

———

I think it would be a stretch to say that radio frequency identification and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies will alleviate poverty. In the grand scheme of things, though, being able to produce a greater amount of goods more cheaply would lead to more people being able to purchase things that they could not previously afford. Greater efficiencies lead to wealth creation.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most people worked on farms. Clothing, shoes and tools were handmade. They were expensive, and there was little economic growth. The vast majority of the world's population lived in poverty. The Industrial Revolution led to goods being produced inexpensively, which made them available for more people to buy, and also created jobs. This led to the birth of the Middle Class and great economic expansion.

I do have some concerns that greater efficiencies, at some point, might lead to higher unemployment rates. For instance, if all factories were to add robots that used vision, RFID and other technologies, we could end up with those plants employing very few workers. This might lead to more Middle Class jobs. It certainly did in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when companies around the world invested nearly a trillion U.S. dollars during a four-year period in information technologies, resulting in unemployment going down globally.

But it could be that the tide has turned, and that greater automation is starting to reduce the number of jobs. This is what Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist and director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and Andrew P. McAfee, the center's associate director and principal research scientist, suggested in their Kindle e-book Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy.

In industrialized countries in which the population is aging, new technologies, including IoT technologies, will likely help a smaller working population support a larger retired population. But in areas such as the Middle East, where there is a large young population, we could see an increase in unemployment and poverty. Those countries will need to educate their populace to find roles in the global economy.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

Login and post your comment!

Not a member?

Signup for an account now to access all of the features of RFIDJournal.com!

Next Post
Do RFID Tags Work on a Motherboard?
Previous Post
When Should We Tag Our Pallets?
PREMIUM CONTENT
Case Studies Features Best Practices How-Tos
RFID JOURNAL EVENTS
Live Events Virtual Events Webinars
ASK THE EXPERTS
Simply enter a question for our experts.
TAKE THE POLL
JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER
Loading
RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco