FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, September 27, 2004

IBM, HP Commit to RFID

In a move that indicates the big IT players see radio frequency identification (RFID) as a major emerging technology, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are investing millions into RFID initiatives.

IBM is sinking $250 million and committing 1,000 employees to their initiative, which will help its customers leverage RFID technology more easily. For its part, HP is investing $150 million.

Speculation is that the moves are in response to Wal-Mart's headlong embrace of RFID technology, which is already forcing its suppliers to adopt it as well. Because of its size, Wal-Mart has the luxury of being able to set standards. If RFID proves to be a money-saver, it could open the floodgates for retailers of all sizes to leverage RFID, followed by anybody who needs to track anything electronically.

In addition to big players like IBM and HP getting involved, many smaller software and consulting firms will surely benefit as RFID catches on.