The recently ratified EPCglobal™ Gen 2 RFID standard—the new state of the art in supply chain technology—has raised the bar for competitive RFID systems worldwide. Unfolding in tandem with recent well-publicized retailer and DoD mandates, it would seem that the timing of the new standard couldn't be more opportune. But like the promise of a great western frontier, getting there might require the crossing of a few uncharted mountains and deserts… easy, but only if you have the right guide.
While the theory behind practical, widespread RFID deployment is sound enough—perhaps even proven—one would still do well to regard the words of Yogi Berra: "In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Impinj's Dr. Chris Diorio, a significant contributor to the Gen 2 spec development effort, agrees. "A spec is a framework on which you build a solution, not a solution in and of itself. Even though the Gen 2 spec represents a huge technological advancement compared with current Gen 1 RFID systems, and offers a solid foundation upon which to build an RFID system, fielding a working Gen 2 system is still a big step beyond the spec."