Intel helps Europe advance in RFID

Intel is working with European retailers to advance the use of a next-generation bar code standard that will enable RFID...

Intel is working with European retailers to advance the use of a next-generation bar code standard that will enable RFID technology.

The Carrefour Group, Tesco and Metro Group have formed The EPC (electronic product code) Product Retail Users Group of Europe along with Intel.

Intel's role in the working group is to provide advice as to how retailers can implement technologies such as scanners and handheld devices that work with EPC and RFID technologies, said Jon Stine, global industry manager of retail consumer packaged goods at Intel.

Intel will share details of upcoming processors which can be used in inventory tracking devices.

The EPC is a 96-bit numbering system that assigns a unique tracking number to every item that leaves a factory. Those numbers are embedded into RFID chips that are placed onto products.

Backers of the technology have said it will help companies greatly improve their supply-chain management efforts, but privacy advocates are sceptical that retailers will disable the RFID chips once a product leaves the retail store, allowing them to track a product's movements outside the supply chain.

Intel is working with several companies in the US regarding RFID implementation strategies but has not yet organised a group surrounding the technology.

Metro operates a next-generation supermarket in Germany, which already utilises RFID technology.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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