“In a recent shenanigan at a Wal-Mart store, techno-fraudsters printed out fake barcode labels and, in one instance, a $100 mattress rang up at checkout for the price of a bunch of bananas. But what if Wal-Mart had been in the habit of attaching RFID tags rather than barcodes to mattresses and bananas? Would the emerging wireless technology have saved the day?
The answer is “No” – at the moment, anyway. For RFID to work as an antidote to in-store theft and fraud, tagging is needed at the individual item level. And, to be charitable, item-level RFID tagging isn’t likely to become much of a reality until the end of this decadeâ€”that is, unless we’re talking about ultra high-end designer clothes (think Prada), or maybe costly pharmaceuticals (think controlled substances such as OxyContin, a drug marketed by Purdue Pharma as an analgesic).”
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