Attendees Can Test RFID At Next Week's Retail Conference - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Attendees Can Test RFID At Next Week's Retail Conference

One of the retail industry's biggest conferences will give attendees a chance to see firsthand how radio-frequency identification technology works by offering them badges with chips inside. The RFID-enabled badges are optional and will let attendees test the technology in a prototype store at the National Retail Federation's annual convention next week at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.

The RFID badges aim to enhance the attendees' experience at the X05 Real Store Pavilion, a prototype of a "smart store" constructed on the show floor. Through X05, attendees will have the opportunity to experience how RFID technology makes typical functions more intelligent and efficient. This prototype of a smart store features the latest in fixtures, furniture, graphics, sound, lighting, visual merchandising products, flooring, signage, and more. X05 is being produced in partnership with Hybridia Design, specializing in Retail Store Design and Visual Imaging.

Convention-goers had the choice to either opt in or opt out from having an RFID chip in their conference badges. A spokeswoman for the event says about 50% of the attendees opted in.

Last year, the conference drew more than 12,500 attendees and is expected to top that this year. The 100,000-square-feet facility will showcase products and services from 400 suppliers. The main draw in 2005: a little semiconductor chip in a plastic casing or paper label attached to an antenna that transmits a signal meant to make supply chains more efficient and revolutionize the retail industry. RFID is expected to be a hot topic this year, too.

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