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Still Crazy After All These Years

Why I believe more passionately in radio frequency identification now than I did when I first launched RFID Journal, 10 years ago this week.
By Mark Roberti
Feb 27, 2012I launched RFID Journal out of a spare bedroom in my house. The first article was published 10 years ago this week, on Mar. 1, 2002. I believed then that radio frequency identification technology would be hugely important to businesses, enabling them to better track and mange goods within their supply chains. I knew that people would need information about the technology, and I decided I was going to be the one to provide it.

Not long after the initial articles began appearing on RFID Journal's Web site—I wrote the original HMTL code myself—a gentleman selling RFID systems e-mailed me to tell me I was crazy. "You will never make any money in the RFID industry," he wrote. "It's just too small." Many others also told me I was nuts, claiming RFID would never take off for one reason or another. I guess I'm still crazy after all these years.

The fact is, I believe in RFID more now than I ever have—I grossly underestimated the technology's importance when I started. Sure, RFID has the potential to track goods within the supply chain. But it can do so much more. Cisco Systems, for example, will offer a presentation at RFID Journal LIVE! 2012—being held on Apr. 3-5, at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin resort, located in Orlando, Fla.—detailing how the company is tracking data-center assets across its entire enterprise (see Cisco Tracks IT Assets Via RFID).

In addition, Mission Hospital will discuss how RFID is improving its asset-utilization rates (see Mission Hospital Improves Equipment Utility Rate). Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will explain how it is utilizing the technology to track 2 million costumes and garments across 40 locations. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will explain how it is employing RFID to capture data regarding vibrations, as well as gauge acoustic emissions, during rocket launches at Florida's Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (see NASA Launches RFID to Track Vibrations).

John Deere will reveal how it increased the efficiency of its replenishment of welding materials, as well as how the firm carries out processes at its assembly stations (see John Deere Planter Factory Gains Efficiency). Dow Chemical will explore how it is using a combination of the latest RFID and automatic-identification technologies, sensors and Web-based software to monitor the real-time location, security status and environmental conditions of in-transit shipments of highly hazardous materials (see Dow Monitors Hazardous Rail Shipments in Real Time). Steelcase will explain how it utilizes the technology to help its customers configure and manage office assets (see Steelcase Mexico's RFID Solutions Help Banks Manage Assets). And Bombardier Transportation will show how its RFID system improves the safety of workers inspecting railway tracks (see Tracking Track Workers for Safety).

None of these applications were ones that I, or anyone else, envisioned 10 years ago.

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