Imagining the Grocery Store Afresh

January 16, 2008 at 8:56 am | Posted in News, RFID | Leave a comment

I really don’t have much time for the grocery store. I particularly don’t have time to go through their weekly ads, pick up coupons from the paper, and figure out where the best buys are to help stretch the family budget. I’m kind of excited, therefore, to see ShopRite’s RFID project with Microsoft.

The companies have combined forces to create a smart shopping cart. When the cart will display advertisements and discounts based upon location, which it will sense using an onboard RFID reader. So, if you push the cart into the detergent area, the cart will inform you that Tide is 2 for the price of 1 today.

The smart cart idea isn’t a new one, really. Dynamic is working on one of these for one of our clients right now, although it will be used for marketing research, rather than customer service or sales.

Microsoft and ShopRite are funding the project with advertising, which seems to be a fairly common way to fund the transfer of information nowadays. I haven’t decided what I think about that, because I am sure ShopRite could get ROI on their RFID investment in many other ways. Still, this is a step in the right direction.

My ideal grocery shopping experience:

I walk in, take what I want from the shelf, and walk out the door. No checkout lines, no wondering if the expiration date is okay, no need to get my debit card out of my purse. I walk past an RFID reader carrying the things I want, and my total purchase is automatically deducted from my checking account. That would be perfect!

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Cool Video from ZDNet

January 8, 2008 at 10:16 am | Posted in News, RFID | Leave a comment

This is a video of and interview with the CIO of PG&E, one of the nation’s largest power companies. She mentions how they plan to  use RFID to make their systems more intelligent:

http://video.zdnet.com/CIOSessions/?p=237 

RFID in your own hands

November 27, 2007 at 9:36 am | Posted in News, RFID | Leave a comment

Samsung has announced a very cool RFID reader consumers can use inside a mobile device! This is what I’ve been waiting for; something that might someday make shopping in a store easier. The reason I shop online is that I want specifications and comparisons at my fingertips, and I don’t want to have to ask a pushy salesperson for information. I hope that in the future I’ll be able to pull data from objects’ RFID tags before making a purchase. I realize that’s a long way off, but a girl can hope!

“We are enabling anytime, anywhere mobile access to information,” said Dr. Chilhee Chung, senior vice president of Samsung Electronics’ System LSI division, in a press release. “RFID chip reader systems allow consumers to pull context-specific information into their mobile devices while on the go. Our mobile RFID single-chip technology is an important step in the evolution of ubiquitous computing environments.”

Really Tiny Chip

October 31, 2007 at 2:06 pm | Posted in News, RFID | Leave a comment

Teeny RFID Chip

No, it’s not a tick or a freckle. It’s the smallest RFID chip on record. It’s made by Hitachi, and measures 0.15 x 0.15 millimeters in size and 7.5 micrometers thick.  It can store enough data for a 38-digit number. It’s pretty cool; hopefully it doesn’t blow away in a stiff breeze, though. I’m betting Hitachi spent a bit of money on this one.

Related Science

October 16, 2007 at 9:04 am | Posted in News, Technical | Leave a comment

You might not realize it, but you’re probably familiar with lots of ways we use Radio Frequency waves to collect data. RADAR, for example, is actually an acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging.

I mention this because we’re one step closer to  ‘Scan the vessel for life signs, Mr. Spock.’ Kai Sensors has made a product called the “LifeReader” which can detect heartbeats and respiration using doppler radar.  Of course this has lots of very cool applications, because it can detect normal and abnormal cardiac activity. If your heart is screwing up, you want to know about it right away, right? This is particularly true in case of heart attack, when time equals muscle.

Continue Reading Related Science…

Oo, la la, mon cheres…

October 16, 2007 at 8:27 am | Posted in News, RFID | Leave a comment

The French government has opened an RFID center!  Europe is pretty far ahead of the US in terms of RFID adoption among large enterprises; but France’s new RFID center is intenteded to help small and mid-sized businesses integrate the technology into their systems. Read more!

A Public Health Use Case

October 11, 2007 at 7:01 am | Posted in News, RFID | Leave a comment

DCC spent a large part of September speaking with public health workers about disaster preparedness, and ways that RFID could be used to improve health systems’ capacity and responsiveness. There is a very cool article on CNet’s News about ways RFID can be useful to the UN’s relief efforts. UN Avian Flu Coordinator David Nabarro wants to track disaster supplies and monitor their condition. He also wants to track workers at disaster sites. Mr. Nabarro needs to call Dynamic.

RFID-Enabled Library

October 2, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Posted in News, RFID | Leave a comment

I love hearing about libraries coming into modern times. I adore books, and wouldn’t want to see an era of paper-free  knowledge.

So, it warms my heart to see the RFID implementation at the San Bernardino County Public Library.  They are using it in multiple ways, which is great, because they will see much better ROI  by using RFID throughout the organization. Here at Dynamic we worry a lot about our DoD contractor clients, who might only be using RFID when they are required to slap a tag on an item before shipping. They could get so much more out of it if they were to use it internally as well!

Back to San B Library. Thinking as most libraries must, of course, they are using the tags for loss prevention purposes. They’ve tagged all their DVD cases, which should help cut down on theft of high-risk items. (Alas, today’s youth are less interested in stealing a nice Nancy Drew novel than stealing the movie.) 

The part I think is great, however, is that they are using RFID to try to improve customer service. They’ve created a self-checkout system so patrons don’t have to wait for a librarian. This will also liberate librarians from the circulation desk, giving them more time for the actual ordering and maintenance of books, event planning, readings, research work, and more.

Even more cool: at the self-service station you can remove the security device from the DVD case on your own. This makes me grin, since my own tiny hometown library’s security devices often cover the movie description on the back of the case, and I am forever having to have our librarian remove the device so I can find out what the movie is about.

Yay Boys and Girls Republic!

September 12, 2007 at 8:24 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

Dynamic has decided on a winner for our Extreme Tech Makeover!

I don’t know if you’ll recall, but back in June we announced we would accept applications from local organizations. They sent in their sad network stories, and we selected one that would fit our capabilities, and where we felt technology could really make a big impact.

Boys and Girls Republic is the winner! We’ll be supplying them with computers for staff who haven’t had access to them, and we’re trying to strong-arm the local ISP to help them get connections out to their residential buildings, so staff can VPN into the administrative network. Everyone here at DCC is really excited to be putting our efforts where we feel we can really make a difference.

BGR is a great organization. They provide residential care & services for at-risk youth, and have been doing so for over a century! We’re hopeful that adding computers and networking capabilities will liberate staff from their current burdensome on-paper communications, and allow them to spend their time the way they really want to spend it: working with kids.

Interested in more information? Check out their web site! Read our press release! (PDF)

Our formal announcement!

September 5, 2007 at 8:11 am | Posted in News, RFID | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Yesterday we formally announced our partnership with Stratum Global, makers of the TagNet RFID software package. We’ve been in the RFID hardware business for a long while; we sell Intermec, Motorola/Symbol, Zebra, and many others. Thanks to our partnership with Stratum, we are now able to offer a software solution to match, and all the services required to put RFID in use in our customers’ facilities.

This is exciting technology for us, and we’ve decided to build a demo room in our building so our clients can come in and experiment with our RFID gear. We are also using TagNet for our own tracking purposes, but of course we wouldn’t want clients to be messing around with our real-time inventory data!

If you would like to read our press release PDF, it is on our web site.

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