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How to Map an Adoption Curve


By Jack Reader

The study of barcode adoption history was very helpful.  From the web we located a University of Wollongong study of Auto-ID technology, and were able to see important patterns and timing dynamics applicable to RFID.
Adoption Lifecycle Curves
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CPG suppliers had come to rely on the data available in the barcode labels they attached to the goods they shipped to retail.  In addition to high RFID tag costs as compared to barcodes, CPG customers revealed that to fully take advantage of remote tag reading (in other words just to duplicate existing barcode applications) they would have to invest in pervasive wireless network infrastructure.  

The good news was RFID-generated demand for wireless networking.  The bad news was twofold:  one, that incrementally cheaper RFID tags would not kick-start the market in and of themselves; and two, that the Company’s wireless technology had not evolved to be robust enough for relatively harsh manufacturing and distribution environments.  In order to fully deploy RFID, the enterprise must find enough critical mass in savings generated by RFID to justify widespread installation of new, and somewhat unstable, wireless technology.