New uses for RFID and security for the internet of things | PHYS.ORG

On the 25th anniversary of the universal barcode in 1999, the barcode community gathered around Sanjay Sarma and his colleagues and said, “Let’s do this.”
“Our idea,” says Sarma, vice president for open learning and the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, “was to track everything in the supply chain.” Some companies knew they had too much inventory. Others didn’t know where their inventory was. Consumers couldn’t find the right sized shirt while that shirt was sitting in the back room. Food was going bad and shelves went un-stocked. Things got lost in the supply chain. So, Sarma, along with research scientist David Brock of MIT and Kevin Ashton, a visiting researcher from Proctor and Gamble, came up with a low-cost radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. “At the time, it was a crazy idea,” says Sarma. “But it stuck.”

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