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Dan Linstedt

Bill Inmon has given me this wonderful opportunity to blog on his behalf. I like to cover everything from DW2.0 to integration to data modeling, including ETL/ELT, SOA, Master Data Management, Unstructured Data, DW and BI. Currently I am working on ways to create dynamic data warehouses, push-button architectures, and automated generation of common data models. You can find me at Denver University where I participate on an academic advisory board for Masters Students in I.T. I can't wait to hear from you in the comments of my blog entries. Thank-you, and all the best; Dan Linstedt http://www.COBICC.com, danL@danLinstedt.com

About the author >

Cofounder of Genesee Academy, RapidACE, and BetterDataModel.com, Daniel Linstedt is an internationally known expert in data warehousing, business intelligence, analytics, very large data warehousing (VLDW), OLTP and performance and tuning. He has been the lead technical architect on enterprise-wide data warehouse projects and refinements for many Fortune 500 companies. Linstedt is an instructor of The Data Warehousing Institute and a featured speaker at industry events. He is a Certified DW2.0 Architect. He has worked with companies including: IBM, Informatica, Ipedo, X-Aware, Netezza, Microsoft, Oracle, Silver Creek Systems, and Teradata.  He is trained in SEI / CMMi Level 5, and is the inventor of The Matrix Methodology, and the Data Vault Data modeling architecture. He has built expert training courses, and trained hundreds of industry professionals, and is the voice of Bill Inmons' Blog on http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/linstedt/.

Imagine, a smart RFID (radio frequency identifier tag) - in other words, not just one that bounces a signal that was received by a transmitter, but one that emanates a unique number (like a RIN (RFID identification number) - like a VIN only for RFID's. I realize they already have RTLS (real-time locator systems) with this technology embedded, but imagine it at a smaller scale. RTLS are currently very large (compared to RFID tags). How would this affect BI? What if it could use Nanotechnology and an embedded power source (like Nanotech reports is possible) to power a unique signal? What would happen to the supply chain for example?

This entry is just a thought experiment.

Well, I was thinking about my can of soda; yes I drink soda, and it's usually Pepsi, uhhh I mean Coke... Oh Well, I drink both - but anyhow, what if the can's paint could contain a RID and a modified RFID that generated signals? What if Coke/Pepsi cared about geographic location of the can? It is possible to send a satellite signal to each MRFID (modified RFID). This would have to be done using Nanotech, for an internal power source, and a transmitter would have to be embedded, or an encoding device.

In other words, since the power source is usually too weak to respond to a satellite signal, it would have to record where it was (latitude and longitude). Every hour it would record it's lat/long in a DNA computing style by folding DNA elements.

Yea, so what, what if Pepsi/Coke could track the can, and what difference would it make?
Well - from a vendor perspective they could start to discover where the cans went when they left the store. Perhaps a scary thought, perhaps not. In any case, it's bound to happen and not just with the Drink manufacturers, but with cars, clothing, artwork, and so on. In fact with On-Star in GM Cars, it's already happening (only on a larger scale). Imagine what marketing power the cola company would have if they knew that on July 4th many of the cans were not only purchased at Wal-Mart, but driven to a remote location where they were subsequently consumed; in other words, a campground.

If the cola manufacturer could figure out how to open a store closer to that location, they might have a boost in sales, or even a dispenser machine or they drive a truck up to the location to sell or promotionally give away their product; all in the sake of loyalty.

But hey, we're talking tracking of the products that we purchase. This raises serious invasion of privacy concerns. I may not want my cola / pants / T-Shirt producer tracking my activities and locations. They'd quickly find out that I'm not worth tracking - moving around the country to present at IT meetings, and working at home most of the time.

On the other hand, think of what Law enforcement could do from a business intelligence perspective - a criminal purchases a set of pants or a mask that's tagged with MRFID, and all of the sudden the FBI has a fix on their location... Hey maybe it's good for tracking wanted individuals. But we'll leave that alone.

What I'm suggesting is the following:
* This technology will come to pass, like it or not - it will happen within 15 to 20 years (or sooner) Because vendors would have a huge increase in revenue as a result.
* Nanotech is already here, and there are limitless utilizations for it.
* Privacy and Ethics are a hot debate in the nanotech industry
* There are some interesting applications for MRFID in the productized world.

Care to share some ideas? Thoughts?
Daniel Linstedt


Posted April 29, 2006 4:23 PM
Permalink | 4 Comments |

4 Comments

My organization really needs RFID technology really bad. Not the one in its infancy of today.

To replace our BAR code inventorying process for today's RFID does not improve/suffice our needs. We conduct inventories every 3 months. We send several people to different warehouses throughout the entire state to pick up each item and scan it; we would be doing basically the same with the RFID readers, so we don't improve on what we already got.

What we need is a version of RFID technology that it would read an entire warehouse or by sections at the push of a button or a single swipe of the reader and read an entire shelve. Input overload, you say? Not necessarily if it is combined with other technologies in place today. An added tidbit would be to have the ability to read any warehouse from a central location. This would allow us to do inventories as scheduled and we don't have to send an army of bean-counters all over.

Why not include GPS on your nano-tracker so that when your product is stored the location is automatically logged for location. each unit would have a unique address that could be tracked from point of manufacture to point of sale.

I am interested in a nanotechnology GPS transmitter so small that can be embedded in paper or other small items...can you guide me in finding out who produce them or can produce them...Thanks a lot

It's been a while since I posted this entry, but here are my thoughts...

RFID for store shelves is already being rolled out by Wal-Mart, Target, Sams Club, Costco, and the like. This technology already exists. About it being embedded in inventories, GM and Ford have already automated their supplier and production lines with RFID through the parts warehouses and distribution channels.

GPS on the nano-tracker is exactly what I was referring to when I stated recording of Lattitude-Longitude. However, reading RFID's is a tough job at a distance. Their internal power source is not strong enough to transmit a signal. Only to receive and bounce back a signal - and the signal it bounces is not very strong, travels at most maybe 15 feet.

GPS transmitter ebedded in paper can be done using RFID technology today, but again - it wouldn't be a transmitter, RFID is a responsive / passive technology - it responds to a radio signal.

They (DARPA, military, government) are working on transmitters - but this raises significant ethical concerns.

Hope this helps,
Dan L

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