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28 Nov

Charlie Walton, inventor of RFID, no more !

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“I feel good about it and gratified I could make a contribution.” — Charlie Walton, inventor of RFID is quoted thus in 2004.

And indeed, the use of RFID today cutting across markets and regions makes the above statement appear rather too modest.

While what we know as RFID today is the result of contributions from many eminent people, the credit for making available this technology for mass scale deployment and commercialization would certainly belong to Mr. Walton.  Walton has  10 patents for RFID related devices and 50 patents overall.

RFID’s superior technology replaced the earlier bar-code systems that were in vogue during 1970s and 80s.  The use of RFID was popularized through Wal-Mart’s extensive use of this technology for identifying products and improving  operational efficiency.

However, Walton could not reap the benefits arising from mass-scale deployment of this technology that started from mid-nineties as his patents had expired by then.

Few lives are counted in years and few, in contributions.  Walton belonged to the latter.


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