Innovation: Tag-It — You’re It! Welcome to the New World of RFID

By August 2, 2006Innovation

The world of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is constantly evolving. Once thought of as a solution for inventory management, RFID is now being expanded so that large amounts of data can be stored on cheap, easily-manufactured wafers or even plastic wristbands. NAM Member Texas Instruments is at the forefront of this revolution with its Tag Itâ„¢ program.

Imagine that your entire medical records could be available to a doctor on the wristband that are issued to you if you visit a hospital.

Or say goodbye to long queues at the ticket line at sporting events and concerts. RFID-enabled tickets will soon eliminate lines and counterfeit tickets. It will also create tickets that can be programmed for specific time periods and specific gates or other access points.

Speaking of counterfeiting, over the past few years, the problem of counterfeit pharmaceuticals has become more widespread as the methods of counterfeiters grow more sophisticated. Fueling the threat is the fact that drugs change hands multiple times as they move through a complex global supply chain. The challenge to ensure that consumers are receiving what they expect at the pharmacy counter requires a new level of supply-chain monitoring and management on the front end.

RFID technology is a key component of the next generation solution because it is secure, not easily replicated and can establish a product pedigree at the item level that does not necessarily require a centralized infrastructure to be effective. Federal and state pharmaceutical regulations have put already recognized RFID as a key technology at the forefront of the battle against drug counterfeiting.

For me, I’m still waiting on the day when I can run all of my groceries through the check out line and get a bill without ever having to unload & reload them from my cart—but I’m sure they are working on that already.