IBM Enters RFID Tag Printer Business

Information technology company IBM has unveiled services, software and technology to accelerate radio frequency identification (RFID) adoption.

RFID uses electronic tags for storing data and identifying items. For businesses, RFID can streamline the supply chain by tracking goods from manufacturer to distribution centres and retailers. RFID tags are used for public safety, since they can help ensure proper handling of shipping containers and hazardous products.

IBM enters into the RFID tag printer business with the launch of an RFID-capable printer. The RFID printer can produce both traditional bar codes and RFID tags, helping customers -- including smaller and mid-sized companies -- make the transition from bar codes to RFID.

Supported by maintenance and help desk services, the printer can transmit supply chain information to a company's network to update the status of inventory, shipping and tracking details. The Infoprint 6700 R40 employs an IBM Power microprocessor to transfer information to each RFID tag. This technology also identifies unreliable RFID labels and marks them faulty.

IBM also announced an RFID privacy consulting practice. Practitioners provide information on local and international privacy laws, as well as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) principles, which underpin much privacy legislation.