One of the goals of the new RFID Lab at Auburn University is to define new uses for RFID that will redefine how retail stores operate in the years ahead.
View Technologies, a joint venture between Stanley Black & Decker and RF Controls, has announced that it will install its phased array antenna system in the lab and will utilize the solution as a data collection device to track the location and movement of assets in real time.
This summer, RF Controls and Stanley Black & Decker entered into a joint venture to market RF Controls’ fixed antenna systems. Stanley Black & Decker will provide the operational know how and global scalability required to bring the fixed antenna solutions to market. View Technologies is targeting retail as its first vertical market.
View Technologies CEO Larry Harper said his company and its partners will be able to improve the accuracy, efficiency and compliance of processes in retail and industrial settings.
“This lab is critical to not only our success, but the success of the entire RFID industry,” says Harper. “By bringing together both academia and industry leaders in a collaborative lab environment, we will be able to advance RFID technology and enable these industries to adopt RFID as a data collection platform much faster.”
RF Controls focuses on the rapid deployment of passive RFID systems capable of providing real time location of assets in an open environment. View Technologies’ platform includes a data collection and rules-based event processing engine that will automate a number of processes, including cycle counts, stock transfers, stock issues, lost assets and returns.
Justin Patton, the managing director at Auburn’s RFID Lab, says that relationships with companies like View Technologies will enable the lab to help retailers and manufacturers “redefine how stores will operate for the next 20-30 years.
“Modern retail stores are being completely rewritten from the ground up in the age of the internet and mobile devices,” he says.
The 13,000-square foot RFID Lab offers simulations for factory, distribution center, warehouse and retail settings and draws on the research expertise of faculty in several departments at Auburn. In addition, part of the new RFID Lab will be devoted to the “95 Percent Store” concept, emblematic of how a retail store will function with inventory accuracy levels at a constant 95 percent or higher.
“A constant question we get from retailers, especially those who have been using RFID for a long time, is what will my store look like in five to 10 years,” says Patton. “That’s where the 95 percent concept came from. Retailers are excited to learn how inventory accuracy will change store processes.”