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IBM opened an RFID centre in Ireland late last month. This week, ZDNet UK toured the facility, which IBM claims will give local businesses hands-on access to technology to help them track assets from goods to employees.
The centre, in IBM's Dublin campus in Mulhuddart, is IBM's largest dedicated RFID facility worldwide. The company has another European facility in La Guade Centre in France and a total of ten similar sites worldwide.
IBM has around 1,400 people working on RFID worldwide and invested $250m (£140m) in the technology in 2005.
Colm Shorten, IBM's RFID centre of excellence manager, said that RFID technology, which is actually 40 to 50 years old, will not replace existing systems such as barcodes for some time. "Some people refer to it as a disruptive technology, but we believe it will coexist alongside barcodes for at least the next five to ten years."
You can find all the latest information on RFID in ZDNet UK's RFID Toolkit.
The size and shape of the RFID tags vary depending on their application. IBM has developed some tags (such as the white one, third from the left) to be worn around the wrists of hospital patients. Other tag (such as the black one that is fourth from the left, have been designed specifically to be embedded in car tyres