Is RFID Finally Hitting the Masses?

By Juan Carlos Ramírez (IDLink Solutions)

As an RFID entrepreneur I’ve followed closely probably all of the RFID and sensor technologies in the last 3 years of my life. Being part of this exciting emerging technology makes you think about how “smart” things and objects will change the world and the way we live our everyday lives.

Among all of the potential RFID uses, I guess it’s natural to wonder which one of those will be the one to impact the end user in a greater and most significant way. In my opinion I think NFC technology, which is pretty much RFID for the mobile phones, is the one poised to dramatically change the RFID landscape. Giving access to product information to the end consumer could be huge. Your mobile phone could now be your credit card, your car keys and more. What about using it to access information about products in your preferred store? Wouldn’t that be great.

Last week, the most important Telco companies in the US made a major announcement. They decided to join efforts to push towards NFC adoption by creating a payment services company. This announcement was followed by Google’s CEO presentation of the next Android NFC enabled phone, not to mention Apple’s and RIM’s plans towards the same direction.

Now, this opens a whole new debate and a very interesting one by the way. NFC operates under in HF instead of UHF, which is probably the most popular RFID technology for industrial and supply chain operations. Will NFC make HF win over Near Field UHF for item level applications?

In the end, I think we are evolving towards a smarter world. Things will be interconnected and big streams of information will flow in all directions. How are we supposed to handle all that information? That’s where RFID middleware will come into place.

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