Raising RFID’s Profile With Movers and Shakers

A high-profile project showcased at next year's World Economic Forum might be just the thing to make the people who matter understand how radio frequency identification can change the world.
Published: March 5, 2009

I recently spoke with Ramin Sadr, CEO of Mojix, regarding his trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, held from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1 of this year.

The annual gathering is an exclusive affair, at which the likes of Bill Gates and Bono can rub elbows with Bill Clinton and Michael Dell. Sadr was invited because Mojix was named a 2009 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. The Forum Technology Pioneer awards are given annually to companies developing and applying highly transformational and innovative technologies in the areas of energy, biotechnology and health, and IT.

Sadr told me that as he spoke with high-powered folks at the event, he realized most of those in attendance had no idea what radio frequency identification was. “They talk about reducing energy, cutting food waste and improving the ability of governments and nonprofits to react to disasters,” he said, “but they don’t know about a key technology that could help them do it.”

Sadr, who will be heading back to Davos for next year’s World Economic Forum, hit upon the idea of taking a message to the world’s leaders on behalf of the entire RFID industry: the technology can be transformational in all of these areas, and can make a real difference in people’s lives. “If we could convince them that we could feed all the poor people in the world by reducing waste in the food supply chain,” he explained, “and that developing countries can leap past the bar code and use RFID the way China leapt past land lines and went right to cell phones, that could really help RFID adoption.”

No doubt—but seeing is believing. It would be great if we could prove the value of RFID by showing how the technology could reduce food waste, improve energy efficiency or enable better disaster response. A high-profile success story that would get someone like Bill Gates or Bill Clinton excited about RFID’s potential could be transformational for the industry. It would be great to have companies donate time and equipment for such a project. If anyone has ideas for a project that could get people like these excited about radio frequency identification, please e-mail me at