Supermarket giant Tesco is running a trial of smart chips that can warn staff when products are past their sell-by date or even being shoplifted.
RFID or radio frequency identity tags are tiny wireless chips which can tell staff lots of useful and valuable information, from where the product is; when it goes out of date, whether it has been paid for and even if it has been recycled by a customer after use.
Currently Gillette is to trial around half a billion of the chips in the US and UK in their shaver products, which are a popular target for shoplifters.
"The possibilities with RFID are endless," said Tesco IT director Colin Cobain. "The tags will be particularly effective with CDs and DVDs, where there are hundreds of different lines," he said."They will allow us to see easily if items are in the wrong place, and how many of each type are on the shelf and in stock. When a title is picked up a trailer could even play on a plasma screen."
Tesco said that in the future the tags would also be able to tell staff how many products are in stock, as well as how many are on their way to the store, in the distribution centre or at the factory. If the trial proves successful, Tesco said that the tags could feature on a wide range of products in the future, providing information for staff and cutting down on product shortages.
News source: vnunet