Radio Frequency Identification For The Cosmetics Industry

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Radio Frequency Identification


Radio Frequency Identification is not a new idea—the British used a device that employs much of the same technology (the IFF transponder) during World War II to tell their planes from those of the Luftwaffe. (RFID 2005). This paper is a very brief review of literature about RFID and its pros and cons with respect to the cosmetics industry.

I input the search term "RFID" into a journal database and got thousands of hits—that 's too many to be useful, so I added a limiter: "RFID cosmetics." This came back with only a handful, which I 'm using in this paper. I also input "RFID pros cons" and got a few more, which I 'll also include. The obvious conclusion is that the
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Tracking inventory is obviously one use for RFID; it 's also useful for tracking library books, and many sources discussed this aspect of the technology. On the plus side, RFID can improve user "self check-in and check out" because it 's much faster than bar code readers and can scan a lot of items simultaneously (Smart 2004, p. SS4). It 's also proven to be extremely helpful in finding lost books: California State University in Long Beach found 500 "lost" volumes that would have cost $40,000 to replace (Smart 2004, p. SS4). The downside here is that patrons have found ways to remove the tags, books are "disappearing" (Smart 2004, p. SS4). Also, although it is thought the price of the tags and readers, wands and equipment necessary to implement the system will come down, right now they are very expensive and will remain so for the foreseeable future (Smart 2004, p. SS4). Smart also authored another article that is a good resource as it lists the providers of RFID systems to libraries. They include Bibliotheca RFID Library Systems, FlashScan and Checkpoint (Smart 2004, p. SS17). This article is a rundown of suppliers, but it does provide prices (running into hundreds of thousands, usually) and contact points, so it could be very helpful. In a perceptive article about library science and RFID, Joe Moffitt says that libraries really don 't do well in providing IT services; 75% of
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