By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2004-08-27 Print this article Print

-Code Tech"> Despite the age of bar-code technology, its neither as saturated nor as advanced as its going to get. A major North American UPC code effort called 2005 Sunrise is an attempt to move bar-code systems from 12 digits to 13 digits. European retailers, for example, are often at 14 digits because theyre so frequently used in other countries, particularly within Europe. "With the amount of hype and market information out there, end-users were mislead early on about RFID," Liard said, adding that RFID was always intended to complement—not replace—the bar code. "Were not close to the highest point of bar-code implementation yet," he said. One of the other problems that cropped up in the VDC research was the fickle nature of RFID installations. "RFID still has some physical limitations. Each install is inherently unique because no two warehouses are exactly alike," he said. Read accuracy is an issue, along with adjusting antenna arrays and tweaking tag configurations, he said.
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Evan Schuman is the editor of's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at

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