Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Tracking of students? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6942751/
National ID Cards on the way?http://news.com.com/From+high-tech+drivers+licenses+to+national+ID+cards/2100-1028_3-5573414.html?tag=nefd.lede
No way you say? The question, 'why not?' would probably result in a scoff from most people. I don't want to be tracked, the government can't force me to carry a national ID card, and I do not want big brother in my life are just a few answers one could expect. How many state and federal government enforced identification systems were first 'controversial' and now just another fact of life? 'There is a way to make kids safer without making them feel like a piece of inventory.' - Michael Cantrall parent of two students in the California Program.
Would you accept a number that is assigned to you from cradle until grave and mandated by law at birth? If you are an American, I am betting you have a social security number that is exactly that. Would you carry around a tracking device that is legally admissible in court of law able to triangulate your exact position? If you carry a cell phone, you don't mind so much. Is this really a conspiracy theory or just part of our convenient life today? RFID is obviously starting with internal supply chain integration. At it's inception it's application was originally friend or foe identification. This year begins the application of supply chain through track and trace.
Not a year has passed and other applications that are emerging such as track and trace of students. Identity technology will be speeding up with each passing month. When you perfect systems, one can start running with possibilities. Imagine a key fob on every student's backpack. Each class could automatically report present, tardy, sick, and skipping students may be reported and printed with the report card with a detailed to an integrated student database of grades. Time would be saved and more time could be spent efficiently. Role in assemblies would be automatic and real time. School security could have associated student fob and vehicle fobs. The Principal, Earnie Graham hopes to eventually add bar codes to the existing ID's so that students can use them to pay for cafeteria meals and check out library books.The possibilities go on. This takes school administration to the next level, and another identity application through RFID will take hold.
Are we ready?
Monday, February 14, 2005
There was a huge uproar
over a California school's RFID Student Tracking. It makes me think, are we ready for RFID in our day-to-day life? Could RFID monitoring had prevented or limited Columbine High School tragedy? Can RFID monitoring make our schools gun-free and drug-free? I don't know the answer, but these questions generate some interesting possibilities.
After I posted my request for submitting pilot test projects, on various RFID forums, I received a request for testing from a school technologies developer who is planning to implement RFID technology in schools. This developer is outside US and has an ambitious plan to track thousands of students and teachers. Similar efforts are in progress in Indian sub-continent. Are these people not concerned about privacy or the benefits of using RFID far outweigh privacy issues?
Carnival of the Capitalists has excellent entries this week
This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted at Weekend Pundit
. It has the best round-up of business posts in the blogosphere for the week ending February 13th, 2005. Outstanding job is done in categorizing posts, which makes it easy to follow posts related to investments, economics, marketing, business education, social security (yes..it has become so hot that it is categorized), technology and taxes. Also, do not miss the editor's picks.
The hype can prevent us seeing the forest for the trees, or the leaves for that matter
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
RFID must be the pinnacle to all technologies. With Wal*Mart, Target, and the Department of Defense all agreeing on implementation for various application, it
must be the next big thing. Let's take a step back from all the hype and understand what is really going on here. Before any technology may truly proliferate, standards must be set and agreed upon, deployed, and enforced. The Department of Motor Vehicles enforces and controls government mandated standards for identifying vehicles and matching them with the identity of their owners. The internationally accepted standard of TCP/IP allows millions of nodes to be identified and networked. EPC Global is creating standards, among them is the task of identity related standardization of individual RFID tags and readers. A six-character license plate without the database with correlating VIN numbers, expiration stickers, associated taxes, and local law enforcement system is merely a scrap of metal. A networked powerful workstation with a network card is going nowhere online without the routers and fiber optics pushing ones and zeros to IP addresses. Therefore, RFID tags without antennas, middleware, object naming servers, a network, and business applications are simply hype.
Each system has key components in common. The greatest common denominators are identity association, a networked infrastructure, and policies that are agreed upon and compulsory. Please note, at no point have I said any of these systems are either effective or enjoyable. It is up to the masochistic early adopters of this elusive new technology and systems to pioneer the next identity system, infrastructure, work through the standards, find out the balance of policies, and somehow make a profit in the meantime. We all have ROI hanging over our heads no matter how much hype revolves around RFID regardless of industry reports potential of more than $3B forecasted by 2008.
Make no mistake about it; whether you are talking a single can of Coke or the infamous sub dermal embedded Digital Angel Chip, this evolutionary step is being taken personally. Groups like CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) are doing their best to fight the system
in the name of society, privacy, and consumer rights. Fortune 100 Companies are scrutinizing massive amounts of data and making major business decisions in the name of efficiency, consumer spending habits, and the ever-looming ROI graph.
Focusing on the primary issue of radio frequency identity systems without considering all the revolving issues is nearly impossible. However when you take into account the identity association, a networked infrastructure, and policies you are looking at much more than RFID tags and readers. As technology and business truly merge into the latest buzz word of the pervasive network
or even the adaptive enterprise
more than RFID is on the horizon. Sensor based networks enabled by grid networked computing will experience a tsunami of data. The proliferation of this movement is obviously starting with supply chains and will migrate in directions we can only dream of today. This overwhelming amount of data will be valuable, private, and necessary to business and individuals. Few in the industry today doubt the coming of a new age of identity technology; we simply do not know exactly how it will come to be. From a high level the adaptive enterprise, or pervasive technology will be the forest with network of sensor based networks at various levels of maturity while the massive amount of tags, or leaves to follow the analogy, will be the other end of the spectrum. Yes, the leaves vary in shape, size, frequency, passive, active, and so on. But to only focus on the lowest level without regarding the way global ecosystems will eventually have to coincide is, well, hype.
Please welcome new author: Brent Faulk
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
BusinessWorks Inc has first member (besides me) on its team! Please join me in welcoming Brent Faulk on board. He will be a worthy co-author, or should I say co-blogger, of this blog. Brent brings a broad spectrum of experience with him. As you know this blog is about a RFID solutions related business and deals with various business related topics, Brent is a perfect fit with his knowledge in RFID Technologies, Business Development, Sales and IT Management.
In his illustrious career, he has worked for NATO - controlling IT iniitatives in Brussels HQ, managed projects for a start-up IT-Resourcing and Integration company, consulted for a database middleware company and has been engaged in RFID Development lately.
He will be a great asset to this blog and I look forward to reading his insight about RFID and business in general.