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RFID for Smart Markets and Self-Checkout Gains Traction

Nordic ID and Avery Dennison are offering RFID technology that is more effective, flexible and low-cost than RFID systems of the past, enabling retailers to begin installing systems that will enable customers to make purchases and access product content without the need for sales personnel.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 24, 2019

With the advent of low-cost RFID tags designed to be safe for use around food, coupled with reader and antenna engineering and the development of proprietary software solutions, passive UHF deployments are moving into the grocery market. Technology companies Nordic ID and Avery Dennison have been demonstrating that RFID can reliably track food at stores, and thereby enable smart markets and self-checkout.

Avery and Nordic ID predict that RFID deployments in the grocery market may follow a similar trajectory to RFID use in fashion, for which the technology has become commonplace, with tags often applied at the point of manufacture. The two companies demonstrated their solutions, including Nordic ID's S/MART smart market, Self Checkout station and InfoDesk (which automatically displays product-related content), and Avery Dennison's latest food purposed tag, at the National Retail Federation's 2019 NRF Big Show.

A fully automated and unmanned store
For Nordic ID, the development of affordable and effective RFID-based systems for food retailers began more than a year ago, when the company began working with IBM IX, the Interactive Experiences consulting division of IBM, to create instant checkout solutions. Following that project, Nordic ID has continued to develop a commercialized solution that can accomplish reliable RFID tag reads no matter what products they might be attached to, thereby enabling them to be used even in stores that are unstaffed.

With regard to the S/MART system, Nordic ID supplies retailers with everything but the point-of-sale (POS) software, including the reader and antenna installation at a store, and cloud-based software to capture data and provide the necessary information to a user's existing POS system, according to Juuso Lehmuskoski, Nordic ID's services and solutions VP. The system works with any suitable UHF RFID tags, which can be applied to products ranging from liquid beverages to foil packaging.

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