Why is this important?
Great question. RFID Journal has been a big supporter of RFID standards because we believe that standards benefit everyone. So you've given me an opportunity to explain why.
First of all, standards lead to interoperability, which means as you buy technology, you are not locked into a single vendor. You can purchase tags and readers from a variety of vendors. This is good, because it means if one firm produces a form factor that works for a particular application, you can buy from that company, even if you are purchasing most of your hardware from a different one. It also means that if one of your hardware suppliers goes bankrupt, you can buy them from another supplier.
Another benefit of standardization is that the technology becomes less expensive. If you are manufacturing RFID chips that conform to a standard, you can produce billions of chips and sell them to a variety of tag manufacturers. If each tag manufacturer has its own proprietary system, then you make fewer chips of each proprietary type, so the chips are more expensive. In addition, if companies are producing tags and readers that conform to the same standards, then one way to compete is to become more efficient and sell at a lower price.
Standardization also leads to greater innovation. If I have a property system and my customers are locked into using it, I don't need to innovate. But if I am producing tags that conform to a standard, I need to develop innovations that will give me a competitive advantage in the market.
What's more, standards enable tags placed on items by one firm to be read by another. Today, many applications are carried out within a company's four walls. But as RFID adoption spreads, businesses will want to receive parts and materials from suppliers that are tagged so they can be read automatically upon arrival, and those firms will want to ship tagged product to their customers. This greatly increases the benefits companies can receive from using RFID technology.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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