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Research Pilots

United Kingdom

In 1999, British Airways completed live trials of Tag-it smart labels at Heathrow Airport
The trials involved 75,000 smart bag tags on passenger luggage.
The trials clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the technology in identifying and tracking baggage transported through the sortation systems. British Airways is openly sharing the trial data with other airlines and standards groups worldwide in an effort to accelerate the adoption of this technology.


Belgium - Public Transports

The STIB, the main and official transport operator of the Region of Brussels capital has chosen to introduce a smart card based ticketing system in order to facilitate the access to public transport through a multiapplicative concept, to place the smart ticketing in an interoperability logic, and to use an efficient commercial tool.
The system is still under development for the moment but STIB tries to host the transport application in all the bank cards (owned by 82% of public transport customers).


Netherlands - eticketing

An ambitious project to introduce an e ticketing system based on contactless smart cards throughout the Netherlands will begin early next year.

According to Jeroen Kok, director of Trans Link Systems, only proven technologies will be used for this project, as the project has to run smoothly from the start.
Rotterdam will be the first city to officially test e ticketing in 2003 for a period of 6 months, after the launch in Rotterdam, two others projects are planned in 2004, e ticketing will be implemented on the entire metro network in Amsterdam.

From 2004 to 2006, e ticketing will be introduced throughout the Netherlands.
Among benefits of implementing such a system are greater safety for transport customers. The system will also make it easier to implement loyalty program and to maike the network ever more efficient.


UK - Anti Fraud demonstrator

5.5 million pounds allocated by the UK Home Office for demonstrator projects

The Home Office has recognised that with recent technological advances in wireless communications that electronic tags data now provide a significant opportunity for a large scale Chipping of Good Initiative. Marking and tracing systems based on electronic data tags can overcome many of the limitations of conventional systems to identify the ownership of personal property. Such systems are expected to :

  • build stakeholder engagement prior to launching a major joint initiative with industry to commence the commercial introduction of electronic chipping into targeted items of property
  • demonstrate the effectiveness of chipped goods within supply chain in combating property crimes.
  • Accelerate the wider adoption of the technology

The initiative is being led by the Police Scientific Development Branch in response to the urgent need to reduce the cost of property crime. Chipping of goods involves the incorporation of RFID electronic tags to merchandise in the supply chain on individual items or consolidated shipments, such as pallets or roll cages.
The widespread adoption of RFID chipping systems is expected to lead to crime reduction

For more information, visit the website :

USA - Tracking Goods

From 1999 to 2001, the Auto-ID Centre’s research teams were focused on designing the prototype system software and hardware for a new network that would allow companies to track goods using low-cost RFID tags. Field research with a number of sponsors, including Gillette, Procter & Gamble, Sun Microsystems, Unilever and Wal-Mart took place during 2000 and 2001. This work formed the foundation for a large-scale field test, which began in the fall of 200.

Phase 1 used commercially available tags and readers that were modified as required for our needs. The aim was to test the software and system design only.

In February 2002, they moved into Phase Two of the field test: putting tags on cases.
Phase Three, planned for the end of 2002, will test the system's ability to scale even more, when they begin to tag individual units. For this phase, they plan to introduce new, scalable low cost tags and readers.

For more information, visit the Auto ID Centre website

USA - RFID Pilot Program launched by EXE Technologies

EXE Technologies Inc implemented a project to test the practical applications of RFID Technology. The Supply Chain Network project is conducted by the Supply Chain Development Association, a non profit organisation created to address the integration of new supply chain technologies and processes. This project was conceptualised by Jeff Ashcroft of Strategic Partners during the fall of 2000, with the initial proposal first presented in February 2001.

The new software technology’s goal is to allow receipts from trusted vendors to be inducted into the distribution facility without application of bar coded labels or the usual labor involved with the check-in process. Use of portal readers and handheld RFID readers will be leveraged to identify the shipments and subsequently schedule the appropriate movements of the inventory.

The Supply Chain Development Association joined the Auto Id Centre ePC Alliance to stay abreast of technologies advances in research in RFID technology.
In addition to RFID tags and labels, the project will test the use of vehicle location devices and electronic catalogues. Planning has been underway since last year and the pilot program is expected to go live early this summer.

Potential benefits of the technology used in support of the Supply Chain Network Project include transport Security through vehicle location and tracking, on boards communications, contents scanning through RFID, capital reductions, better inventory management.

For more information visit both websites :

Japan - The Basic Resident Registration Card based on Contactless IC Cards (BRRC)

Hiroyuki Katoono (LASDEC) presents the BRRC requirements (a wide area use, multi
purpose, interoperable) and its technical implication. The basic stance to realise the BRRC
requirements were taken into account (comply with ISO and JIS, technical neutral neutral for
example). He introduces BBR specifications (ISO/IEC) for physical characteristics, electrical
characteristics and transmission protocols.
In August 2003, distribution of the cards will start by the cities upon demand.

For further information, visit the website