Robert Zielinski is director of commercial marketing at CDO Technologies, a full-service systems-integration firm that uses radio frequency identification and other technologies to solve business problems in a number of industries. RFID Journal has published several case studies about companies that have deployed an RFID solution developed in collaboration with CDO (see Small Repair Business Streamlines Processes, Speed the Plow and RFID Speeds Up Roadway Repairs). When end users have a little bit of knowledge, Zielinski says, that can be a dangerous thing.
RFID Journal: Do you have a pet peeve—something you wish clients or potential clients understood about RFID?
RFID Journal: Do you have another pet peeve?
Zielinski: My other pet peeve, which actually shows the maturity of the technology, is that clients tend to self-diagnose and treat RFID as a commodity.
A majority of the time when folks have a concept about tracking technology, they know what they lose, they saw the technology work somewhere, and they describe what they want it to do. The good news is they expose the business problem right up front—I know what they are losing and that they need to keep track of it.
But then they self-diagnose, because they've learned a little bit about RFID and they have a little bit of knowledge. They know they need antennas, readers and tags. They go looking for the individual pieces themselves. They think, "I have my cell phone, which I know has an RFID reader. Then, if I put one antenna in each of four corners of the building, I just need tags." Unfortunately, they don't know what they don't know.
I need to tell them none of that will work. Sure, their cell phone has a reader, but it is an NFC reader, one of several types of readers out there. And I have to tell them an antenna in one corner of the warehouse likely won't see a small tag hundreds of feet away. And then I have to tell them that just slapping an RFID tag on something, when there are hundreds of varieties of tags, may not solve their problem.
Users see so many options available, but don't know they really cannot just part the job out. Sure, they can find a reader online that might be cheaper than the one suggested for their needs, but they are rarely comparing apples to apples.
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