Wonnemann, Claus; Strüker, Jens (Institut für Informatik und Gesellschaft, Abteilung Telematik, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)


For a couple of years, major retailers across the world have been integrating RFID applications in their supply chain. The anticipated benefits of RFID usage in retail, however, range much further - beyond the point of sale and into the customer’s home. Frequently-cited visions picture fully-automated homes where the microwave oven picks the correct power level by itself and the washing machine autonomously detects the program best suited for the laundry it contains. So far, there are no deployments on a grand scale of RFID technologies beyond the point of sale, primarily due to the cost of transponders. As long as a single RFID tag costs 5¢ and more, attaching one to each item in a retail store does not pay off. Improved production processes and the general trend of decreasing prices for integrated circuits might soon render such scenarios economically feasible, though.

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