RFID Crosses the Chasm

By Mark Roberti

News from RFID Journal LIVE! 2009 will include a plethora of practical solutions to solve business problems—and you'll be able to receive live updates on Twitter.


Apr. 27, 2009—This week, I’ll be hosting our seventh annual RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition. This event will be smaller than last year’s, due to the challenging economy—but in many ways, it feels like a turning point for the radio frequency identification industry. We haven’t yet reached a tipping point at which RFID adoption will spike everywhere, but the technology has crossed the chasm, to use Geoffrey A. Moore’s term.

Moore’s book, Crossing the Chasm, focused on the adoption of new technologies, explaining why this usually takes longer than expected. According to Moore, the toughest gap for technologies is that between a small group of visionaries and the broader group of pragmatists. RFID visionaries have dominated our conferences for much of the past seven years, including Airbus, Boeing, Kimberly-Clark, Metro, Procter & Gamble, the U.S. Department of Defense and Wal-Mart.

This year’s event will feature all of these visionaries, as well as a new group of “pragmatists.” We will have more than 50 case studies from companies that were not part of the visionary stage of RFID adoption, including American Apparel, Bank of America, Charles Vögele Group, Continental Autm, DePuy, John Deere & Co., Monsanto, Madison Abstract, SentrySafe and Southern Company.

Other pragmatists will attend LIVE! 2009 as well. In fact, I’ve spoken with a few attendees who have requested free, one-on-one consultations, which we’re offering at this year’s event. Although they come from different industries, they all have a business problem RFID can solve—and each has a budget for their project. What’s more, they are all attending the event in order to find the companies that have the technology that will work best for their particular applications. I bet they’ll walk away with not just insights into which technology will work for them, but also 10 or 20 other ideas for how radio frequency identification can deliver value to their businesses.

If you are unable to attend this year’s LIVE! event, you can still get new ideas for how to improve your business with RFID, by following my on-site tweets at Twitter, which I’ll post during the event. You can follow them by visiting twitter.com/rfidjournal.

Additionally, the folks at ODIN Technologies have created a Web site, www.rfidtweets.com, at which attendees can post their thoughts regarding the event. Just type “#RFIDJL” in front of your tweets, and the site’s search engine will automatically pick up the text. You can view the comments posted at www.rfidtweets.com.

Harold Boeck, a professor of marketing at the Universite de Sherbrooke and a founder of Academia RFID, will be tweeting at RFID Journal LIVE! as well, with the hash tag “#RFIDLive.” To view his tweets, visit search.twitter.com/search?q=RFIDLive.

Despite the challenging economy, I believe LIVE! 2009 will still be a strong event. It will be interesting to read the tweets and see if others agree with me, that RFID has finally crossed the chasm.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or click here.