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New Zealand Companies embracing RFID

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release 31 March 2004

New Zealand Companies embracing RFID

While debate continues when, where and how RFID (radio frequency identification) will fully enter the market, New Zealand companies are already embracing future application of the technology.

Although the technology is still evolving with uncertainty regarding the best frequencies and levels to which RFID will be used, Checkpoint Meto General Manager, Mike Champness states a number of industries are already well on the way to moving into full applications.

"Logistics companies will be the first to use the technology with pallet and outer package tracking taking the lead. RFID identification will move to single items once economically viable."

Champness says over the last few months he has been approached by a number companies interested in exploring the potential of RFID.

"We've had enquiries from diverse businesses such as tyre manufacturing, logistics and a grapevine nursery and there's huge potential for them all to be involved in the future," says Champness.

Champness believes that New Zealand organisations are moving at the right pace in adopting RFID as overseas retailers have the resources to deal with initial issues that come with implementing new technologies. He is also quick to point out New Zealand businesses are however already taking tangible steps to prepare for its arrival.

"The Warehouse for example is installing the latest RF-based retail security system. This is specifically designed to offer a future development path for RFID when the technology reaches viable maturity."

Plans to use RFID technology in New Zealand to assist librarians and archivists is also underway by Checkpoint Meto. The system available for libraries uses intelligent tags to assist in inventory management, security and patron self-service. The company has installed 140 libraries internationally and is finding considerable local interest in the system also.

"Although the technology isn't here yet we're able to advise these businesses how to prepare for its inevitability and paths to take for building IT platforms for future RFID applications."

Champness concludes New Zealand will however see the co-existence of RFID tags and barcodes in the marketplace for some time to come. The high cost of item level identification both in tag cost and IT Infrastructure, combined with the smaller marketplace will inhibit widespread uptake.


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