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Issue #2003 - 02 (January 2003)
(Updated Jan. 16, 2003)


Gillette Plans to Use 500 Million RFID Tags for Sales Tracking

Gillette Co. reported recently that it has ordered 500 million radio-frequency identification tags from manufacturer Alien Technology Corp. The purchase is the first major order of low-priced RFID chips based on technology developed by the Auto-ID Center at MIT and could help propel the tags to mainstream commercial use. 

Gillette will attach the chips to grooming products such as razors and razor blades that ship to Wal-Mart stores, a spokesman says. The tagged products then will be used in a large-scale trial program run by the Auto-ID Center to track inventory on the shelves and send managers automatic alerts when stocks are low. Based on the success of those tests, Gillette could start tagging all its products within a few years.

"RFID needed a break like this," says Deepak Shetty, a Frost and Sullivan analyst. Many businesses have been waiting for innovators like Gillette and Wal-Mart to prove that the technology works before adopting it themselves, he says. "They're going to drag RFID to the mainstream." 

Source: Gillette

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: We agree with comments from Deepak Shetty. RFID, ADIC (Automatic Data Input Collection) and mobile computing has tremendous potential in taking administrative tasks on the assembly lines, distribution centers and transportation vehicles to provide full tracking of parts and finished goods. In fact, we see automation of supply chain through these technologies a more certain bet than all the tentative applications of 3G wireless networks that have attracted huge investment and attention. Once again, enterprise markets will win over consumer markets in the short and medium term. Longer term, consumer applications will be bigger. 

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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