Feeds

RFID a 'technical blunder', report says

The next bubble ready to burst?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology bubble ready to burst according to a new report by Dublin-based firm Heavey RF.

The firm, which provides radio frequency products such as handheld scanners, has published a study entitled RFID.Bomb?

"History is littered with large technical blunders; RFID in the supply chain is potentially one of the biggest," said Ronan Clinton, managing director of Heavey RF.

The report claims that RFID is unlikely to replace bar coding as a means of identifying goods. Heavey RF carried out the study after receiving several queries from clients wishing to deploy RFID in their business.

"I'm fed up with companies telling me they want to implement RFID in their business," Clinton told ENN.

RFID uses computer chips to store information. The benefit over conventional methods of tracking items, such as barcoding, is that comparatively large volumes of data can be stored in a tag and line of sight is not necessarily required to scan the item. Industry journals estimate the global RFID market could be worth $7bn by 2008.

The technology has hit the headlines lately with Galway-based RFID firm Aonta Technologies being purchased by a German firm earlier this month. This was soon followed by Heathrow airport in London announcing a trial of RFID.

Clinton, though, urged Irish businesses to not believe the hype surrounding the technology.

"It is almost heresy to question the RFID bandwagon, but we produced this report as I can see worrying parallels between RFID and the dotcom hype. There is a risk that Irish retailers are being railroaded into a technology that is too costly and does not work," said Clinton.

"We've done RFID implementation for some clients but pretty much 99 times out of 100 companies don't need it," he said. "Firms need to ask themselves one question 'Am I Wal-Mart?'"

The Heavey RF study argues that technical restrictions and cost mean that RFID will be unable to replace barcode technology. The report claims that while costs will come down there are too many different types of RFID tags required to make it a viable replacement for barcodes.

"A lot of company executives are going to seminars and hearing how great [RFID] is so they decide they want it for their business," said Clinton. "They forget the technical requirements of RFID and once they see the overall cost the project is shelved."

Clinton urged companies to stick with using barcoding until RFID proved itself to be a cost effective technology. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said.

© 2007 ENN

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.