Monday, January 31, 2005

natn's WebLog [RFID and BI]

natn's WebLog: "RFID and BI
I visited the new Seattle Central Library this weekend - if you have not heard about it, it is a state-of-the-art library with impressive architectural features as well. The library has wireless internet access on all the 11 floors and has machine readers for people who are visually challenged. But, the most impressive fact was that all its books are RFID tagged - that is each and every book in the library. What is the use of it? Plenty! You don't have to scan each book to check out, just scan all the books at once and you are done checking out. But, even more impressive is that the library has automatic handlers (conveyor belts) that can take the returned books, sort them using the RFID signals, and route it to the appropriate section of this vast library. I mean, not only the RFID helps them with tracking items accurately but also saves them labor costs in sorting returned books. Impressive.

As a BI person, I can't help thinking that there are going to be great new opportunities in analyzing the massive amounts of data collected from RFID tagged items as they go through a supply chain system (or any other chain for that matter) and deducting new intelligence. And particularly, when RFID tagged items are supplemented with sensors that can use telemetry to transmit data to central systems, you essentially can have data about an item from cradle to grave. For example, a car manufacturer using such data may perhaps be able to understand and predict breakdowns and then use this information to design more reliable cars! I would like to hear other BI type applications that RFID technology could potentially spawn!"

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