Chennai, Dec 9: Imagine your microwave oven reading the instructions on a packet of frozen food and cooking accordingly.
Imagine sitting in your office and being able to track who is buying your product from the store and the speed of its sale.
Call it the stuff science is made of. But RFID or Radio Frequency Identification Technology is fast turning this dream into reality.
RFID uses radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. The RFID tag is made of a microchip with an unique serial number on it.
Antennae allow the chip to transmit this information to a reader which in turn converts the radio waves from the tag into digital information passing it on to a computer which can use it.
''From the industrial application point of view, the government, Defence, transportation and sections of manufacturing industry, are evincing interest to go in for RFID technology,'' Gemini TRAZE RFID CEO Pradhyumma T Venkat told the sources.
''Gemini Traze is the first company in the country to manufacture and market RFID-based readers, tags, antennae and packaged products in the RIFD industry,'' he claimed.
According to an estimate, the global RFID industry is expected to touch 3.5 billon US Dollar in 2007 and 11.5 billion USD by 2010.
''India offers a huge market for RFID solutions. Already, interest in this business transformational technology is up with Indian IT, ITeS, pharmaceutical, Defence and export sectors being the early birds in recognising its potential.
Given the country's growing significance in the global economy and the fact India is very much a part of the supply chain for multinational corporations, the adoption of RFID-EPC is vital for Indian companies,'' he said. ''What RFID brings is visibility, its, which is the key driving force for any organisation irrespective of size. The time is ripe for any Indian company with revenues above Rs 100 crore to adopt this technology.
''We are negotiating with various government agencies in India to instal RFID technology in their respective organisations,'' he pointed out.
Talking about the use of RFID in various verticals, Mr Venkat said the manufacturing sector has the potential to leap frog to the next level of efficiency in managing their supply chains and start competing more effectively with global players like China.
For instance, the reduction of inventory and inventory management expenditure through RFID can save companies lakhs of rupees.
Since RFID is not a line-of-sight technology (in contrast to bar codes), products can be tracked without a RFID tag being placed in the direction of the reader.
Goods communicate directly with inventory systems thereby reducing the need for labour and possibility of human error.
RFID also has the potential to dramatically reduce theft by alerting people to unusual activity at the shelf level, as well as theft and diversion points in the supply chain.
Moreover, RFID-tagged products can lower the risk of distribution and sale of counterfeit products, which is especially helpful in the pharmaceutical industry.
In the pharmaceutical sector, RFID can improve raw material tracking for manufacturing audit trail right from the factory floor to avoid counterfeiting of drugs and for speeding up clinical trials.
In the transport sector, RFID can be used in fleet management and toll collection on highways.