RFID on Public Television

A team from Maryland Public Television will be filming interviews at RFID Journal LIVE! for a series on how technology is changing the way companies do business.
Published: April 10, 2007

April 10, 2007—We have some 35 journalists signed up to attend RFID Journal LIVE! 2007, including the Associated Press, Chain Store Age and APICS magazine. And, of course, our own RFID Journal reporters will be there as well, posting news stories on our Web site. In addition, Maryland Public Television is sending a crew to film interviews with leading end users and vendors for a series on how technology is changing the way companies do business. It should add an extra level of excitement to the event.

In preparation, I spent some time on the phone with the producer, trying to explain why radio frequency identification represents a fundamental step forward in information technology systems. RFID enables the automatic collection of information and, when tied to the Internet, creates a means of sharing information across the supply chain in real time.

Our cover story in the current issue of RFID Journal magazine on Kimberly-Clark’s tracking of promotions is a case in point. Wal-Mart doesn’t have to lift a finger to collect information on the location of promotional displays, or to share that information with Kimberly-Clark. Using software from OATSystems, K-C is able to view near-real-time data on the location of displays and react by having merchandisers visit the store and prompt the associates there to put out the displays. K-C, Procter & Gamble and others doing this have found that this ability to sense and respond increases sales.

On the other side of the spectrum, the U.S. Army is using RFID to keep troops in Iraq and Afghanistan supplied with everything they need. For example, during the 2004 battle of Fallujah, in Iraq, U.S. Marine ground commanders were able to view, in near-real-time, the location of supplies, because trucks carrying the supplies were equipped with active RFID tags and readers were placed along the road north of the Kuwait supply depot.

I hope the television documentary is able to convey the big picture, and that people can understand how RFID takes the foundation of enterprise software and adds an entirely new dimension—the ability to react in real time. I think the TV crew will also find plenty of interesting applications on the exhibit floor that will highlight the many ways RFID can be used. That kind of attention will enable more people to understand where and how RFID can be used successfully today, and how businesses will benefit from using such technology in the future.