"Each year, the competition for the award becomes greater as more companies deploy the technology, and more vendors develop solutions that deliver value," says Mark Roberti, RFID Journal's founder and editor. "The winners this year should be very proud of their accomplishments, and we are very proud to have them participate in the world's greatest RFID event."
A panel of 22 independent judges chose the winners, based on criteria established by RFID Journal (for a full list of judges, visit rfidjournalawards.com). The main criteria for determining winners for the awards given to end users were, Did the deployment break new ground, and did it deliver benefits to the company?
Last month, the judges chose 10 finalists for the Best in Show award (see Finalists Unveiled for the Third Annual RFID Journal Awards), to honor the best new product exhibited at this year's RFID Journal LIVE! conference. The winner was selected by the editors of RFID Journal, based in part on votes cast by attendees.
Charles Vögele Group was chosen as Best RFID Implementation because it is among the first companies to track goods at the item level, from the point of manufacture to the point of sale, and to achieve efficiencies with RFID at each point along the supply chain.
Vail Resorts won in the Best Use of RFID in a Product or Service category because its RFID deployment effectively improved the experience of skiers at its resorts (see Vail Picks New Line With UHF RFID-Powered Passes). FOCUS earned the Most Innovative Use of RFID title thanks to an application that makes it possible to accurately measure the amount of time individual subscribers spend reading each page of a magazine (see RFID Gives Focus Magazine a Sharper View of Readership).
ODIN Technologies won for its Blackbird SMART container, a self-inventorying system that gives standard shipping containers the ability to automatically capture passive RFID tag data on a scheduled basis, upon door closure or in response to a user command (see ODIN Technologies Unveils End-to-End EPC Gen 2 Tracking for Supply Chains ).
"Several of the judges told me they had a great deal of difficulty choosing the top three entries in each category," Roberti says. "There was less unanimity among the judges this year, so it shows that many companies are moving beyond simple asset-tracking applications, and are deploying the technology in ways that deliver significant benefits."