Being an enabling technology, like paper or the wheel, though somewhat more recent, RFID is now being applied ever more broadly.
Reflecting this, the forthcoming conference RFID Europe will deliberately provide as broad a base of experience as possible, so that the delegates from the logistics, consumer goods, military and other industries can benchmark against best practice regardless of where it originates. Consider casinos for example.
"Unlike slot machine operators, casino operators lack the capability to get real time information for table games like BlackJack, Baccarat and Roulette. For many years RFID embedded in gaming chips was tried and tested but never coped with the thousands of gaming chips on a casino floor," states speaker Bodo Ischebeck, VP of RFID and Table Management Systems at Progressive Gaming International. "Only now with the superior capability of the 13.56MHz PJM RFID Technology (ISO 18000-3 Mode 2) and our software systems it is possible for casinos to get real time accounting information about chip locations and chip movements on tables or in cages."
Akshay Peer, RFID Project Manager at Laing O'Rourke, the largest privately held construction company in the UK, says, "Laing O'Rourke faces numerous challenges in their day to day work such as:
1. Plant and power tool management
2. Offsite manufacturing and supply chain management
3. Facilities management
My presentation will be mainly focussed on the above three topics and what Laing O'Rourke has done to address them." Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx, says, "I shall share the research for our new report "Apparel RFID 2008-2018" which covers over 50 suppliers and over 60 users in this booming sector, encompassing apparel manufacturing, logistics, fashion, retailing, rented apparel and laundry."
By contrast, speaker Dave Evans, Senior Data Protection Practice Manager, Information Commissioner's Office, advises, "Individuals are becoming increasingly concerned that they are losing control of their own personal data. Organisations using RFID tags need to ensure that they are not only complying with the laws relating to the collection and use of personal information but also that they are acting responsibly and retaining the confidence of individuals". He will speak on this.
Marshall Aerospace, The INtelligent Airport (University of Cambridge), Container Centralen, the logistics company and the US Navy Fleet and Industrial Supply Center will share their experiences with conference delegates. However, the talks by Transport for London, Selexyz, global leader in bookshop use of RFID, and two hospitals - one in Norway and one in the UK - will also have lessons for those present. Such is the reach of RFID nowadays; there will be many present that can be both users and suppliers such as IBM, Serco and LyondellBasell - one of the world's largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies. GS1 will present on "Real World Uses of EPCglobal from Around the World."
Of course Nokia will be attending. Chip suppliers and designers Essensium and Impinj will both make new announcements and EM Microelectronics, in the same group as Swatch watches, who know a thing or two about cost reduction and fashion marketing, will be in attendance. The exciting new RFID start-up with a completely different approach to active RFID, Loc8tor, will give its first presentation anywhere in the world and there will be other first announcements too and IDTechEx will not forget the rapid progress towards one billion people having RFID-enabled NFC (Near Field Communication) mobile phones. The global situation on these will be presented too, including new forecasts.