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Focus: RFID and Automated Identification and Data Collection (AIDC)

Feature Article from Our RFID and AIDC Subject Area - See All


From SCDigest's OnTarget e-Magazine

- Oct. 1, 2015 -


RFID and AIDC News: Time to Get Your RFID Implant? Plus Levi's Pilot Success with Intel RFID Platform


Transhumanist Says RFID Implants are the Way to Go, While Levi's Achieves Nearly 100% Inventory Acurracy In Store


SCDigest Editorial Staff

SCDigest has written several times in the past about humans getting RFID implants, such as a man named Amal Graafstra did in the state of Washington in 2010.

Graafstra has two different chips embedded one in each hand, and he uses this technology to open his garage door, turn on his computer and much more by simply waving his hand at them. He even convinced a girlfriend to get a chip in one of her hands. (See Are RFID Tagged Humans Closer than we Think?)

SCDigest Says:


Levi's was able to achieve nearly 100% inventory accuracy within a few days of system go-live.

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The earlier this year we published an article about office complex in Sweden that was encouraging workers there to also get RFID implants and use them to do such things as pay for lunch, access the copy machine, open office doors and more. (See Office Complex in Sweden Offers Option of Embedded RFID for Workers to Automate Access, Buy Lunch.)

Not much word since then as to how the program is coming along. We are thinking rather slowly.

Now transhumanist Zoltan Istvan is among the latest to jump on the bandwagon. What is a transhumanist, you ask? Someone who believes the idea that human capacity can be enhanced by technology.

So Istvan recently got his first RFID implant at the same time a buddy did as well. Apparently he has no real applications to use the new chip implant yet, but in a recent web post he is optimistic the chip's ability to "store information and unlock devices, among other things," will eventually come in handy. He did see someone who could start their car with the RFID implant they had acquired.

Istvan is running for US president as head of Transhumanist Party, by the way.

So how does this implant happen?

"This involved a simple 60-second injection procedure. The implant was placed into our hands through a thick and slightly intimidating needle," Istvan wrote, but said the procedure was largely pain free.

If you want to take the transhumanist thing even further, Istvan says there is a brain implant available that promises to allow adopters to listen to music wirelessly in their heads. Let's hope the chips run the Apple mobile operating system.

We'll keep you posted, but think we'll wait here until a few more applications are developed before getting our own RFID implants.

Intel Releases Retail RFID Platform, Levi's Test Shows Strong Result

SCDigest reported last January that at the NRF show that tech giant Intel was demonstrating an in-store reader system that it said would make deploying item-level RFID in retail much simpler and faster, arguing that the time and cost it took to deploy RFID in retail was holding adoption back.

(RFID and AIDC Story Continued Below)




The goal an Intel spokesperson told us then was not really to sell RFID systems but rather to drive adoption that would lead to sales of back end servers and other products containing Intel chips to manage the RFID data.

Well, Intel recently announced it was commercializing this technology after all, and that it has had excellent success in a pilot of its technology at a Levi Strauss store in San Francisco.

The Intel Retail Sensor Platform consists of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID readers with integrated antennas, wired to an Intel Gateway device that sends RFID read the data to a back end server. The platform also includes an application programming interface (API) that allows companies or RFID systems integrators to develop extensions to the Gateway software and integrate it with a retailer's perpetual inventory or other systems.

The system provides real-time tracking of items on a store floor, similar to the "wide area" reading systems that have been coming to market in recent years (see Will Wide Area RFID Readers Change the Game in RFID Systems?), proving improved visibility versus the most common store RFID systems that rely on portal readers from the back room to the floor and manual reads by associates of items using handheld readers.

It turns out Levi Strauss has been piloting the system at a retail store it operates next to its headquarters building in downtown San Francisco since last Spring. The system involves about 20 EPC Gen 2 compliant RFID readers, all connected to an Intel Gateway device. (It was not immediately clear how big the store is in terms of square footage). Intel says many more than 20 readers could be connected to a single gateway.

All items in the store carry a hang tag with an RFID chip embedded.

Levi's was able to achieve nearly 100% inventory accuracy within a few days of system go-live. The system shows not only the real-time inventory position by individual item in the store, but also when any produce moves and in what direction. So, for example, the system can identify when a given product is not where it is supposed to be (say on the wrong shelf) and also enable analytics such as how often a customer trying on a given SKU in the changing room leads to a sale or not.

Intel says it will be working with a number of other retailers on similar pilots soon.

Intel also says it is able to achieve 30-40% reduction in implementation times versus current solutions in part by leveraging power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology to provide power to the readers in store from their LAN connections, rather than requiring traditional electric wiring. This also allows more flexibility in reader placement.

Intel says it will begin taking orders at the NRF show in January 2016, with an anticipated March ship date.

Do you think there is any chance RFID implants will become popular? Is the new Intel platform likely to spur more RFID adoption in retail? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.


Recent Feedback

It's great to hear about the RFID solutions. I would like to know more details of the RFID products mentioned.


Thimothy Kumarathunga
Sales Executive - IPPS
Avery Dennison Lanka (Pvt) Ltd
Oct, 30 2015