RF-ID’ing the Future!

By Ian Grist

I had some recent interest in RFID technology, and wrote this in response to an article I read in Information Week. It is from the October 23, 2006 issue. The article is called “When RFID is Everywhere” By J. Nicholas Hoover. enjoy?!

RFID technology is extremely interesting and important because it is the future of inventory management, and possibly even of human identification! As mentioned in the article, there are already many companies designing, creating, and implementing RFID software and scanners to be used in inventory systems. According to the author, some businesses, like the Dutch bookstore Selexyz, are using RFID middleware like Progress Software’s Apama which can “pool and monitor data from incoming tags”, and “filter out unrecognizable or duplicate RFID data”.

The future for this technology is amazing, especially in human applications. There has already been talk of implementing RFID chips in military soldiers and medical patients to streamline the process of health care, as well as linking information it to personal information like bank accounts and credit cards. The article shows the possible revenue to be gained from RFID growth, starting with $48 million in 2004 and reaching $152.3 million by 2009. This technology can generate huge profits and revolutionize society and many different industries, but doesn’t come without its shortcomings, such as security. Opponents point out the high price, and possibility of intercepting RFID signals and gaining access to personal information. Concerns like this will have to be addressed before it can be implemented on a large scale; however many still believe it is the future of information management.

RIFD will revolutionize the way Information Systems will be implemented in the future. It will allow them to by more dynamic, designed with just the system in mind. By this I mean that the Information System won’t have to contain individual product information, like UPC codes, that previous ones did. The RFID chip will contain all the relevant information for the object it represents, and will transmit that to whatever is requesting it. This eliminates the need for separate databases containing all the information linked to one [UPC] code, thereby increasing the efficiency of processing data. RFID is a completely new type of Information System, minimizing the need for constant human interaction to maintain an up to date system. It provides a newer, faster solution to an old process.

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