Smart Labels USA 2006 Conference


Natick, MA —According to Venture Development Corp., Smart Labels USA was attended by users and vendors from all regions. Now in its fifth year, the event attracted several hundred senior-level delegates from the supply chain, manufacturing, printing, labeling, packaging and logistics sectors. The two-day conference featured speaker sessions that included major end-user application examples, smart label manufacturing techniques, and advanced technologies. Roughly 40 RFID manufacturers and suppliers exhibited. In addition, a special pavilion, dedicated to developments in Asia—most notably China and Japan—was showcased.
Three major topics took center stage:

  • Application opportunities for high-margin, high-volume labels in niche markets;

  • Vertical market-specific RFID requirements, implementation experiences, and next steps—covering new opportunities from users and step-by-step implementation approaches; and

  • New RFID technologies from fully printed RFID to active RFID with sensor technology.

Additionally, there was a focus on new and different types of chipless RFID technologies, as well as the impact and profitability of active RFID, and its convergence with WiFi, Zigbee, and such. Sessions were dedicated to passive chip RFID solutions—including new long-range HF systems—and the manufacturing of RFID smart labels.

The conference program did not concentrate solely on supply chain compliance, applications, and technology. The agenda included a broad spectrum of topics, speakers—users, vendors, and analysts—technologies, industries, verticals, and regional markets. Presentations on emerging technologies such as chipless RFID and printed organics were most interesting and visionary, although their practical applications and near-term adoption scenarios appeared underdeveloped.

— Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering

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