RFID Education That Pays Off

By Mark Roberti

The market is changing, and the education provided at RFID Journal's events is changing with it.


RFID Journal’s mission is to help companies use radio frequency identification, where appropriate, to improve the way they manufacture, ship and sell products. When we held our first RFID Journal LIVE! event five years ago, most of the education we provided was focused on what RFID was and how it could be used to deliver business value. As end users, systems integrators and RFID vendors gathered more real-world experience, we introduced sessions at subsequent shows in which early adopters shared with attendees the lessons they had learned.

Now we’ve entered a new phase of RFID adoption, where there are even more success stories and more companies jumping on the RFID bandwagon. At all our events, we continue to feature end users speaking objectively about how they implemented RFID technology in their operations to achieve real benefits. But increasingly, attendees also want information about how to deploy these systems, and we’re responding by providing educational demonstrations on the exhibit floor.

At EPC Connection 2007, a conference and exhibition we are co-producing with EPCglobal North America in Chicago on Oct. 2-4, we will feature three live demonstration centers. Each will provide practical advice for those ready to deploy RFID, or who have already deployed it and now want to use RFID in new ways, or for new applications.

One demonstration center—the Microsoft Partner Pavilion—will focus on real-world software applications built on Microsoft‘s BizTalk platform, using EPC hardware. These are not future applications—they are solutions you can buy and deploy immediately to track assets, improve asset utilization, boost supply-chain efficiencies and more.

Key Microsoft partners demonstrating at these applications will include Alien Technology, Cactus Commerce, Avery Dennison, HighJump Software, Intel, Tata Consulting Services, Wipro, Unisys and Xterprise. For more information about the BizTalk platform and the Microsoft Partner Pavilion, see RFID News Roundup: Microsoft Releases BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Microsoft to Showcase RFID-Enabled Applications at EPC Connection 2007.

Another demonstration center—which was quite popular at RFID Journal LIVE! 2007—will be the EPC Technology Demonstration Center. The University of Arkansas’ RFID Research Center will provide practical demonstrations, including:

• How to Comply With Tagging Requirements

• Testing in an Accredited Lab

• How to Read Every Case on a Pallet

• Tagging Individual Items

I worked with Bill Hardgrave, head of the RFID Research Center, to create the demonstrations, and we examined the most frequent questions end users have. One popular question regards how to confirm that you’ve read all the tags on cases stacked on a pallet. This is a big issue for companies looking to get value out of the tags they attach for retail customers. If a firm can read every case on a pallet, it can improve shipping accuracy, reduce chargebacks and get a return on its investment.

Finally, the RFID ROI Demonstration Center, run by Alien Technology, will demonstrate real-world applications in a variety of industries. Alien, with help from its strategic partners, will showcase specific customer implementations that have achieved an ROI.

These demonstration centers, combined with an incredible lineup of end users presenting real-world case studies, will provide attendees a unique opportunity to learn how to use EPC technologies—and how to implement them cost-effectively.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below.