RFID Everywhere! Someday. Maybe.

by on July 6, 2006

It’s not schizophrenia. It’s principle. RFID is cool for tracking stuff, and it’s uncool for tracking people.

Do consumers have power to control RFID? Yes. Will RFID be everywhere? No. Yet more evidence comes from a couple of articles in a recent Information Week.

In one story, InfoWeek reports “Most retailers can’t find a business case for item-level tagging.” Meaning, they’re not going to do it – not in the near term anyway.

What about the pharmaceutical sector, where RFID is being pushed by government regulators?: “Just two years ago, adoption of radio-frequency identification technology by the pharmaceutical industry looked like it was on a fast track. . . . [P]harma’s use of RFID today remains limited to a handful of test projects.”

The upshot? RFID will be adopted where it’s useful, and not adopted where it’s not. Economics, not technology, will determine how it’s used. And economic forces will channel RFID to uses consistent with consumers’ interests.

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