In Memory of Pat King

By Mark Roberti

The founder of Technologies ROI and the world's leading innovator around high-temperature radio frequency identification tags passed away on Mar. 14.

I was saddened to learn last week of the  passing of Patrick Fraser King, the founder of  Technologies ROI and the world's leading innovator around high-temperature radio frequency identification. This is a great loss for the RFID industry.

I have known Pat for almost 20 years. In the early years of RFID Journal, he spoke as a representative of Michelin. At the same time, he started his own company to develop innovative tags that could be pounded with a hammer or scalded with a blow torch. A quick search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database reveals that Pat had 50 issued patents, most dealing with innovations in RFID but a few from his days at Polaroid.

Pat developed some of the most innovative RFID tags on the market. His steel-shrouded UHF RFID tags can be welded to metal pipes or tools for the oil and gas, construction or other heavy industrial sectors, and are built to sustain blows from a hammer. He also came up with innovative ways for attaching tags to metal pipes and other difficult-to-tag items.

Pat King

Pat was incredibly generous with his time. He was involved with numerous standards efforts, he was on the board of the  RFID Professional Institute, and he spoke regularly at events to educate companies about RFID. I used to email him regularly when I received questions from our readers about the possibility of reading passive UHF RFID tags in high-heat environments. He was always very patient, very detailed in his answers and not prone to hyperbole.

In one of our last exchanges regarding reading tags in extremely hot environments, Pat said that he was learning new things about "cool off and heat soak management." He went on to explain that if a tool heated to 350 degrees Celsius for one hour is never actually removed to an ambient space, but instead is just heated less, the effect on the tag is different than when the same tool is placed into an oven and then removed to an ambient space. "It might even read as soon as it arrives in the ambient space," he wrote. "Always learning."

That was Pat. Always learning, always excited, always eager to share. I will miss him. My condolences to his family and to all those who were close to him. It's a terrible loss.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal.