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Interoperability Is Possible

The GS1 US RFID Apparel Demo, staged at RFID Journal LIVE! 2011, showed that it is relatively easy to share data with supply chain partners.
By Mark Roberti
All of these disparate systems fed data into the application that Traub created to monitor the movements of goods. Attendees watching the demo could see data being captured and shared in real time.

A systems integrator watching the data asked a vendor if it had gotten into the hall a week early to set up the complex demonstration. The vendor laughed, replying, "We had 21 hours." Just 21 hours to set up a complex demo with seven vendors utilizing more than a dozen RFID applications, and it all worked smoothly and effectively—that's pretty impressive, and suggests that RFID is reaching a point at which it can truly scale across an organization and its supply chain partners.

We videotaped the demonstration, and the recordings are linked below. I encourage you to watch them, even if your company doesn't sell or supply apparel:

GS1 Apparel Supply Chain Demo
Manufacturing Station
Distribution Station
Retail Store Station

The goods being tracked could easily have been airplane parts, chemicals, pharmaceuticals or any other products. The ability to capture and share information has the potential to bring previously impossible efficiencies to the global supply chain.

It took a decade, but the future is finally here.

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, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.


Michele Southall 2011-05-09 01:35:48 PM
Standards in ACTION Thanks for the great coverage of the GS1 US Apparel Demo. It was a pleasure for us at GS1 US to work with such a professional team of technology providers. It highlighted the importance of standards to RFID deployments -- especially when you’re trying to implement a system in less than 24 hours. This really speaks to the power of standards in everyday business.

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