The Herff College of Engineering’s Automatic Identification Laboratory at the University of Memphis has received a donation of more than 650,000 RFID tags from Checkpoint Systems, a global supplier of merchandise availability solutions for the retail industry.
The Auto-ID Lab, which opened 18 months ago, will use the tags to conduct large scale experiments around RFID technology that were not possible in the past. Dr. Kevin Berisso, director of the Auto-ID Lab, says that the donation will allow students to conduct real projects instead of simulating results from a test with maybe only 10 or 20 tags.
“These tags will ensure that students are able to realistically experience and experiment with UHF RFID technology,” says Berisso, who formerly was the director of the RFID Lab at Ohio State. “With this donation the Lab will be supplied with enough tags to perform smaller scale exercises in class and also conduct large scale activities that involve thousands of simultaneous tag reads – tasks that normally would have been done only as theoretical simulations.”
The Auto-ID Lab at the University of Memphis is geared toward the education of both students and industry in all auto-ID technologies, including RFID, magnetic stripe, biometrics, and more. As a technology and vendor agnostic lab, Berisso says that the lab can help companies to choose the best technology for their specific needs. The Lab collaborates with other departments in the Herff College and also with the University of Memphis’ Fogelman College of Business & Economics to help provide answers and research to students and industry. The lab is currently working with the AIM Internet of Things committee to help to develop a matrix of examples of where and how the Internet of Things can be used.
In addition to running bigger experiments, Berisso will “spread the wealth” by donating tags to other universities. Baylor, Southern Methodist and East Carolina Univerity have already received tag donations from the University of Memphis lab.
“We have more thags than we can use, and I believe in sharing what we have with other research labs,” says Berisso. “I’ve already been in touch with several other educators that need tags.”
This week Checkpoint announced that its source tagging program is used by 45 percent of the top 50 global retailers throughout the world, as identified by Deloitte in a recent research note.
“At Checkpoint we are committed to education and are proud to be able to contribute to those actively improving retail supply chain visibility with innovation and new technology,” says James Wrigley, president and chief operating officer, Apparel Labeling Solutions at Checkpoint Systems.
The Auto-ID Lab at Memphis University has received major donations from several industry solution providers. Last month Jamison RFID donated one of its 78-inch Thin Portals that will allow students to get a better understanding for how to overcome the challenges tied to reading tags at choke points. The lab also has readers from Alien Technologies and ThingMagic.