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QOTD from the RFID show

Posted on Thursday 3 March 2005

One of the problems that plagues RFID is that the RF parts of the system don’t work very well. Given the low TX power the RF links are subject to interference from many sources. This results in low ‘read rates;’ in laymen’s terms, it means that only a percentage of RFID tags can be read cleanly.

In an attempt to downplay this fundamental problem Greg Gilbert of Manhattan Associates said yesterday, “The read rates are better than anything that could be achieved with bar codes and the same amount of manpower!”

Someone in the back of the room laughed out loud and more than a few others chuckled. Imagine if a CompUSA salesman said something like, “Yes sir, I know that this computer only runs at 64KHz, but you can still add and subtract a whole lot faster than you could with your old adding machine.” Greg: it’s about the expectations.

Oh, I almost forgot. Gilbert’s speaker bio describe him as “a recognized thought leader in the RFID industry.” He may be, but his presentation was scant evidence.

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