Its been a few weeks since the close of RFID Journal LIVE! 2011, and the reviews are in. By all measures this year’s event provided a solid platform for end users, technology vendors and solution providers to meet to discuss the latest in RFID and its many applications across industries. Overall, the sessions seemed well attended - especially the standing room only keynotes. Like in years past, the exhibit floor was home to many exciting demonstrations, but this year included a demo area highlighting the use of RFID in retail - from product manufacturing to the retail store (more on this later).
Among the highlights for ThingMagic were the following:
RFID’s Best Powered by ThingMagic
Gerry Weber International received the Best RFID Implementation Award for a solution that integrates RFID tags into its clothing labels so items can be tracked from the point of manufacture to over 200 store locations. As detailed in a recent ThingMagic announcement titled Trimble Embedded RFID Readers Power International Retail Inventory Management Solution, several elements of Gerry Weber’s solution include ThingMagic readers, including Nordic ID PL3000 UHF RFID Cross Dipole handhelds, and point of sale (PoS) and electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems designed by RAKO Security-Label GmbH.
If two makes a trend, then game on. ThingMagic readers also powered the solution deployed by RFID Journal LIVE! 2010 Most Innovative Use of RFID award winner The Disney Family Cancer Center for their use of RFID to enhance the patient’s experience and increase efficiency. See ThingMagic’s case study on this innovative, first-of-its-kind solution.
ThingMagic Powers Retail Supply Chain Pavilion
In a demonstration sponsored by GS1 US and coordinated by former colleague Ken Traub of Ken Traub Consulting, several technology providers showed how apparel items can be tagged at the point of manufacture and then tracked through distribution centers, store receiving and on the retail sales floor. Four of the eight vendors demonstrating their products - including Avery Dennison RBIS, Tagsys RFID, Seeonic, and Zebra Technologies - offer retail solutions Powered by ThingMagic. See RFID Journal’s video of the GS1 US Apparel Demo for an overview of the solutions demonstrated.
Rounding out our retail market activity, ThingMagic partnered with Truecount Corporation - an innovator of RFID software solutions for the retail industry, to demonstrate item-level RFID capabilities and benefits for the retail industry end-to-end supply chain - focusing on the critical functions that can help retailers achieve greater efficiencies in their operations.
RFID + Social Networking = Reach
A hands down crowd favorite at RFID Journal LIVE! were several Facebook ‘Like’ and ‘Check-In’ kiosks developed by ODIN. Each kiosk included ODIN’s Facebook-ready software known as EasyConnect (which is integrated into Facebook’s RFID presence modules) and ThingMagic ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID readers. Check-in stations were strategically placed throughout the conference areas, allowing attendees to update their Facebook profiles by checking in via Facebook Places. Similarly, ‘Like’ kiosks located on the exhibit floor and in major speaking sessions helped build Facebook audiences for RFID Journal, ODIN, ThingMagic and other event sponsors.
These kiosks allowed attendees to extend their personal experiences from the physical world to the online world in real-time, expanding reach and influence well beyond the boundaries of the conference. A recent blog post from ODIN includes some very interesting statistics about this social media and RFID solution. A full case study of the solution has also been published by ThingMagic and can be found here.
Now fast forward and consider the future of RFID integrated into the retail supply chain, mobile devices, smart signage, kiosks and other elements of the physical environment combined with the reach of Social Media - and the possibilities seem limitless.