Switch to RFID 'could take 15 years'

It could be 15 years before radio frequency identification (RFID) tags become universal in retail, according to German supermarket giant Metro Group, which is running a pioneering pilot of the technology.

It could be 15 years before radio frequency identification (RFID) tags become universal in retail, according to German supermarket giant Metro Group, which is running a pioneering pilot of the technology.

The prediction was made by Metro Group chief executive Hans-Joachim K”rber at the CeBit trade show in Hanover last week.

Metro, together with Wal-Mart in the US and Tesco in the UK, is a world leader in RFID technology. As part of its Future Store Initiative, at CeBit the company demonstrated how every pallet coming into a store could be automatically identified and registered via RFID to save time and reduce costs.

Based on technology provided by SAP, Intel, IBM and T-Mobile, the Future Store Initiative is investigating how retailers will be able to offer their customers tailor-made services and an enhanced shopping experience using emerging technologies. The aim is to look at how various types of technology can be linked together to improve store efficiency and customer satisfaction.

The Future Store Initiative is developing a framework linking innovative technologies in a complex way.

Metro Group is also trialling the first commercially available EPC-compliant RFID reader able to operate in Europe, developed by Symbol Technologies.

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