FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, October 28, 2005

Wal-Mart RFID Tags Starting to Pay Off

Through its widely-touted implementation of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, Wal-Mart has been able to reduce out-of-stock merchandise by 16% over the past year, and can restock tagged merchandise three times faster than non-tagged items.

Currently, 130 major suppliers tag their products to Wal-Mart's specifications, and another 200 are expected to come online by January.

Wal-Mart's success -- coupled with the falling cost of tags -- will almost certainly ensure adoption of RFID by other retailers. This payoff, though, is not without controversy. Critics have protested, in particular, Wal-Mart's practice of tagging computer equipment, and privacy fears about RFID in general appear to be gaining momentum.

Source: Wired