100 Uses of RFID

Posted by Ken Lynch on Thu, Dec 09, 2010 @ 11:55 AM

Use Your Imagination.  Just Add RFID.

“If history is any indication, we should assume that any technology that is going to have a significant impact over the next 10 years is already 10 years old.”

- Bill Buxton, Sketching User Experiences

100 Uses of RFIDAs mentioned in the first post of our 100 Uses of RFID program, over the past 10 years, we've gone from a world in which very few knew of RFID, to one in which the hype of the technology exceeded the rate of practical adoption, to today, where RFID is found in automated data collection, identification, and location systems worldwide.

By many measure, the use of RFID is growing.  Early projects and pilots are delivering value and influencing a new generation of solutions.  Could the RFID market be primed to deliver the significant impact Bill Buxton references above?

"Businesses are scaling and deploying. In many different ways, RFID is moving to the next stage."

- Drew Nathanson, Director of operations, VDC Research.

When we kicked off our program 100 business days ago, we had a goal of raising awareness of the many different types of wireless ID and sensing technologies, and how they are coming together to create a new multi-scale wireless world.  Over this period, we’ve discussed applications that use many types of the technology. From Active RFID to ZigBee, each offers a variety of benefits and value to its users.  Beyond traditional uses of the technology, we also explored the growing number of solutions where users and consumers are naturally interacting with RFID and where the technology is so integrated and transparent that it disappears into its environment.

Could we be experiencing the beginning of the next stage Drew Nathanson mentions above - a tipping point, where RFID is being integrated into many every day products and enabling the development of new innovative solutions that would otherwise not be available?

"RFID is the missing link between online information and the real world”

- Andrew Lippman, MIT Media Lab associate director and head, Viral Communications group

The next 10 years in the RFID market will certainly be interesting.  Will we experience a layering in the RFID market similar to the layering of the PC era, the ongoing layering of the Internet, and the emerging layering of social networking platforms?  Layering in each of these markets has led to huge innovation.  By all accounts, RFID is quickly becoming a reliable element of network infrastructures, driving significant process change.  As RFID becomes integrated into more everyday objects, expect to see a wave of innovative upstream solutions and applications.  Maybe someday soon we’ll look back and wonder how we ever got through a day without a PC, without the internet, without Facebook and without RFID.

Use Number 100:  Use your imagination.  Just add RFID.

Stay tuned for future posts as we report on key highlights of our 100 Uses of RFID series.  If you have a unique use of RFID, let us know and we’ll consider it for our next program!

Tags: RFID, Internet of Things, Reality Search Engines

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