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Hot Topics In The Mobile Computing Industry


RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification Information - an inexpensive chip-based technology that may one day replace UPC codes in more expensive assets and items.  There are some commanilities and some differences with UPC labels. These are :

  • UPC - Universal product code becomes EPC - Electronic Product Code.

  • UPC is a symbology based on printed symbols and information on paper or similar card stock. EPC will be embedded or stored in inexpensive chips.

  • RFID will emit the information automatically rather than scanned and read by a bar code scanner. 

  • RFID technology involves antannas and RF readers.

  • RFID chips radiate radio waves in very close range (distance wise , a few feet).  The frequency band is in low KHz range as compared to other RF technologies. 

  • RFID is highly accurate - 99.8 %.

Where is the Research being done?

  • At MIT's Auto-ID center.

  • Several commercial companies like Proctor and Gamble and 30 others are involved - each of these companies have contributed $300,000 to participate and get the benefit of this research. 

Cost of RFID Technology

  • Currently RFID chips are expensive (a few dollars) but large volume production (over billion units) may reduce this cost to 10 cents. 


  • Retailing Inventory Control - can find item in the back of the store if not on the shelf

  • Supply chain application from the assembly line to selling point

  • Enterprises may use for competitive advantage


  • Early stage of development in mid 2001. 

Related Resources:
3rd Generation Wireless Networks


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