[LINK] RFID in Electronics Will Spark Use
brd at austarmetro.com.au
Thu Nov 18 14:20:51 EST 2004
The RFID juggernaut rolls on....
RFID in Electronics Will Spark Use
By Catherine Ilic
By adding RFID technology to electronic appliances and other devices,
electronics makers will spread the adoption of RFID across a range of
industries, according to an IBM report.
Nov. 18, 2004According to a research report from IBM, the electronics
industry has the bigger head start and the most to gain when it comes to
using RFID and integrating the technology into its products.
"RFID is electronics, and since electronics companies supply the underlying
technology that enables RFID, they are well positioned to discover ways in
which they can supply customers with innovative products that can generate
growth," says Dr. Hagen Wenzek, who leads the global electronics team of
the Institute for Business Value in IBM Business Consulting Services. With
a staff of about 60 strategy consultants working in offices primarily in
the U.S. (Cambridge, Mass.), the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Australia
(Sydney), the IBM Institute for Business Value provides senior IBM
executives with strategic insights addressing critical challenges faced by
The report, The Untold RFID Story, was commissioned by Kevin Reardon, IBM
Global Electronics industry general manager, to learn what RFID's potential
is for the makers of electronic equipment, both consumer and business. At
IBM's recently opened RFID Lab in La Gaude, France, Wenzek says, IBM is
planning to build a new demo facility to innovative electronic products
that integrate RFID components. Currently, activities at the La Gaude RFID
Lab range include testing RFID equipment in the kinds of environments that
IBM customers will face, as well as testing and developing RFID middleware
and back-end integration and prototype industry solutions. The new demo
facility will consist of a showcase allowing clients from the electronics
industry to see IBM's integrated solutions in action. Work on the new
facility will start at the beginning of 2005 and should be finished by
Wenzek argues that to date, RFID use by most consumer goods manufacturers
has centered on complying with shipment mandates that generally benefit
retailers and not the manufacturers themselves. However, suppliers can
realize the benefits of RFID only if they look beyond the supply chain and
into their own processes and product innovation. Wenzek claims that RFID
technology will soon transcend basic asset and inventory tracking, and will
by the next decade be an important aspect of the next generation of
connected electronics products.
"By integrating RFID functionality into their products, electronics
companies will enable a global RFID infrastructure," says Wenzek. According
to Wenzek, by providing physical objects with the infrastructure needed to
communicate with each other via the Internet, RFID will help fuel the
growth of the burgeoning global network of interconnected devices.
The report claims that adding RFID capabilities to an electronics product
is more straightforwardand provides more functionalitythan it does for
products from other industries. "Adding an RFID tag to a bag of potato
chips provides few innovative possibilities for capturing and conveying
information. Conversely, in electronics products, adding a tag or chip to a
mobile phone, washing machine or heart-rate monitor can increase the value
of the product by changing its capabilities, and hence the very nature of
the product itself," writes Wenzek. An RFID reader embedded into a washing
machine would prevent the machine's users from mixing incompatible fabrics.
An RFID-enabled heart-rate monitor could send a warning message when the
user is in cardiac distress.
IBM predicts that this uptake of RFID in electronics will lead other
industries to use of RFID because electronics are embedded into more and
more of the objects we use on a daily basis. If an electronics company
providing components for the car industry, for example, is using RFID, then
the car manufacturer will be more likely to leverage this infrastructure to
use RFID to build additional functionality into other components. According
to Dr. Hagen Wenzek, his report is helping IBM to understand how it should
target electronics companies considering RFID initiatives.
Report is available free of charge at
Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID
that he just whipped out a quarter?
-- Steven Wright
brd at austarmetro.com.au
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