Korea Sets Trend in Mobile Radio Tags
Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology was introduced during the first decade of the new millennium with much fanfare. But the radio tags were practically limited to just replacing conventional barcodes.
In this climate, experts point out that the hype originally promised by RFID would be realized only when its applications go mobile and Korea is currently leading the world in the shift toward mobility. Mobile RFID is based on portable readers imbedded in such wireless devices as cell phones with which people can check detailed data of groceries or movie previews by attaching their handsets to radio tags on vegetable wraps or movie posters.
“No matter how many radio tags are around us sporting fancy applications, its usefulness would not be realized if a number of people do not carry the readers,” a spokesperson at the Mobile RFID Forum said.
“In my view, the idea of ubiquitous RFID readers will be materialized when they are incorporated in such devices as cellular phones or other handheld devices. Korea is setting the global trend.”
Entities both from the public and private sectors convened in 2004 to form a Mobile RFID Forum involving the state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and SK Telecom. The companies and organizations have finished pilot tests geared toward checking the commercial viability of mobile RFID, faster than competitors in other countries. On top of commercial deployment, Asia’s fourth-largest economy has taken the initiative in technological advances as demonstrated at an international conference on RFID standards. Korea hosted the conference, which started Monday to continue through March 26 on Jeju Island, and asked for 16 technologies to be made global standards, or around 16 percent of the 68 overall proposals. Of these, observers predict that the country’s offers in mobile RFID and real-time location systems are highly likely to be endorsed because the country is ahead of the pack in these segments.
Then, Korea will be able to preempt the mobile RFID markets, which are expected to explode in the not-so-distant future, said the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The RFID tag is a small integrated-circuit chip together with a radio circuit. The tiny tags emit radio waves so that its identification code can be scanned from a distance through a reader. The cutting-edge technology has been expected to offer a variety of information on any product like their ingredients, origins, producers and transportation histories as well. However, the hitch was that the fixed reader of the mobile RFID was not available to the general public. This prompted many countries to come up with wireless readers but they were prone to mistakes in recognizing the tags accurately. To tackle the problems, many Korean researchers have worked on improving the precision of the readers in motion to make a substantial advancement in the studies, according to the Mobile RFID Forum.
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