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In Recognition of Excellence

The 2008 RFID Journal Award winners demonstrate what can be achieved by applying radio frequency identification to different business problems.
By Mark Roberti
With the RFID system installed at two terminals to date, managers have gained real-time visibility into the arrival and departure times of buses. If a bus is arriving late to the terminal, a manager can put another vehicle into service, delivering more reliable transportation to the public. The AMT is considering creating bus-only lanes and having the RFID transponder on the bus interact with stoplights, thereby making traffic for the vehicles move more quickly.

The competition for the Most Innovative Use of RFID also was intense. Interface Flor, the world's largest producer of commercial carpet tiles, finished ahead of two impressive entries. WiWait, a startup, has developed a system enabling customers to order and pay for coffee or fast food remotely, and to have items waiting when they enter the store. And Northrop Grumman is using RF sensors to measure shock to composite airplane parts and alert employees when a part receives an impact above a threshold that might cause damage.

Interface Flor, the winner, developed a method for embedding RFID sensors in carpet tiles, creating the world's first multi-functional intelligent floor. The RFID-enabled Intelligent Flor system provides daily information on when and where maintenance has been done. With additional embedded sensors, temperature and moisture in a room or building can be measured, providing feedback on building health. The floor system also enables robotic maintenance by providing tracking and localization, which can increase efficiency, lower labor cost and decrease chemical consumption.

These pioneering companies deserve recognition, and you can learn from their experiences. Each award winner will offer a presentation during the April 18 award seminar at RFID Journal LIVE! 2008, to be held in Las Vegas. Attendees will learn how these firms developed their projects, the obstacles they had to overcome and the benefits they're now achieving.

In addition, we have also announced 10 finalists for our first Best in Show award (see RFID Journal Announces Winners of Second Annual RFID Journal Awards). The 10 technology providers were chosen from among some 40 entries. Each will provide presentations on the LIVE! exhibit floor, and judges will select the best new product exhibited at the event. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

Choosing a winner won't be easy, as the quality of these new products is very impressive. Bill Hardgrave, director of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas, and one of the five judges, said: "Some of the technologies entered for this year's Best In Show award are truly game-changing and will allow us to do things heretofore impossible with RFID technology."

I congratulate the three award winners and the 10 finalists. They are all very deserving, and I look forward to seeing their presentations at LIVE! I hope you'll join us in Las Vegas as well—the awards will be one highlight in a very special event.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or click here.

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