Find out more about the product that won the “Best in Show” category at the RFID Journal Awards 2008 in this episode.
Picture : Kevin Duffy from Mojix giving a presentation just before the interview
Harold Boeck was judge for the RFID Journal Awards 2008 so he had the incredible opportunity to review all the submissions that were sent in for the prestigious RFID Journal Awards 2008. The winner for this year’s “Best in show” category would be one of RFID’s best kept secrets called Mojix. Here’s an interview he did with them right after one of their presentations at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas during RFID Journal Live! 2008.
Listen to the podcast here:
Show Notes (below)
Links to topics discussed in the podcast :
Wall Street Journal article “Enhanced Tracking Technology May Propel Adoption of RFID”
FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute)
Mojix panel session “Mojix STAR System : Field Trial Results and New Possibilities for RFID” Moderated by John Fontanella, VP Supply Chain Execution, AMR Research
Panelists for the Mojix session included :
Kevin Duffy, Senior Vice President, Mojix ♦ Anush Kumar, Senior Product Director, Microsoft Corp. ♦ Mark Morrow, EPC Technology Leader, Procter & Gamble ♦ John Onderko, Senior RFID Packaging Engineer, Kimberly-Clark ♦ Mark Pollock, Director, Global EPC/RFID Initiatives, Kraft ♦ Doug Wallace, President & COO, Xterprise
John Fontanella’s “tipping point” article: “RFID Reached Its Tipping Point – And No One Noticed”
Channel encoding methods
CPG : Consumer Packaged Goods
RTLS : Real Time Location Systems
Take a look at the banner that was positioned 300 feet away from Mojix’s stand, you’ll notice a very fine line of standard passive UHF tags right underneath where it says “Can you read these tags?”. Now, look above the banner. Do you see that white square? That’s the eNode that will power up those passive UHF tags.
Mojix takes passive UHF RFID to a New Level.
Mojix wins first-ever “Best in Show” Award at RFID Journal LIVE! 2008.
Interview transcript :
Harold Boeck (1:27) :
This is Harold Boeck from RFID Radio at RFID Journal Live! 2008 and I’m here with Kevin Duffy, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing with Mojix. First of all Kevin, I’d like to congratulate you and your company for being a finalist in the Best in Show category for being able to read a standard passive UHF tag 300 feet away.
Kevin Duffy (1:46) :
Thank you for that Harold. It’s been an exciting week. It started off with a bang with a Wall Street Journal article about us if you didn’t happen to catch that. The momentum built throughout the weekend. We kicked off the presentations on Thursday and by the time we gave the first demonstration, reading a tag from 300 feet away which is half of our distance capability actually, 600 feet, it was an exciting moment. We gave out little binoculars so people could see the banner on the far wall. It was a lot of fun. There was a lot of energy at the show. And we were glad to be part of it.
Harold Boeck (2:14) :
Actually Kevin, I did not see that article, but now that you mention it we will put a link up on our show notes so that our listeners can go and read the article. You just gave a presentation here a few minutes ago. Somebody in the audience who is from New Zealand was saying that the technology you presented “blew him away”. It’s really impressive what your product can do. Can you present to our listeners exactly what it does, how it does it, and what makes it different from existing solutions?
Kevin Duffy (2:39) :
Sure Harold, I would love to do that. Let’s start with the conventional RFID technology. It has a transmitter-receiver in it. The transmitter provides excitation energy to any population of tags. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) or ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) limits you to 1 watt of power typically. That will give you an excitation range of about 30 feet. If you put 30 feet into πr² you get 2500 ft.². So that’s about the most you can expect from a coverage area from a single conventional system. What the Mojix system does by comparison, is that our receiver is a phased receiver which is capable of distances of over 600 feet. Now if you put that into some math and consider what’s a reasonable claim by us, we claim 250 000 ft.² of coverage area. Not only do we claim that, but we demonstrated it here today. So if you compare those two, conventional systems: 2500 ft.²; our system: 250 000 ft.². That’s an increase of 100 times greater performance on a single system.
Harold Boeck (3:35) :
That’s amazing. How do you think that will change the industry and the way that people view RFID or use passive RFID in their company?
Kevin Duffy (3:45) :
We had a panel session just today at noon, which was moderated by John Fontanella of AMR. On that panel was Proctor & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Kraft Foods, all field trial participants of ours and all customers of ours. People who have deployed systems. In their words, after they saw the Mojix system at work and how it worked in their real environment. They had to take a step back and rethink their business processes. So the way this has been playing out is that first there is disbelief, then there is just shock to see that it actually works and then when it’s put in the setting of a real-world environment and people actually realize it truly does unleash what was previously thought of economically infeasible or technologically impossible, they now say that the possible has arrived. Large-scale is here. And they can begin to rethink how their business processes actually work.
Harold Boeck (4:40) :
Kevin I have to admit you, by the way, that I was probably one of those sceptics at the beginning. Initially I wasn’t really sure that your product actually could deliver on its promises, but it’s here and it’s being demonstrated live on-site.
Kevin Duffy (4:53) :
I appreciate your honesty and candor. I believe people have a healthy scepticism. I hope they do. This is an industry that’s been through a lot. If we look at our peers and all that’s been done at the tag level, at the infrastructure level, at the software level, it’s been a long hard run. We’re just doing our part. We’re here making some great leaps for the industry. I think that all of our peers are doing likewise. There’s a critical mass that’s been reached and I think that critical mass, as John Fontanella described it, as a tipping point. I think we’re entering a new phase for RFID deployment. Hopefully Mojix can at least be thought of as a company that made large-scale possible.
Harold Boeck (5:31) :
I heard that your system can stop unwanted people from reading your tags.
Kevin Duffy (5:35) :
That’s correct. We have certain feature groups which enable security and authentication. We have channel encoding methods which do not disturb the EPC global electronic product codes, the product codes and all the compliance with EPC is preserved, but the EPC does not facilitate security. What we can do is by using some channel codes that are well-known and forward error corrections and other things is to encode those tags in addition to the EPC data such that no one who is unintended would be able to recover the intelligence that’s on those tags. Likewise, that same methodology would ensure that each tag that’s on there is authentic. So we can eliminate the possibility of counterfeit.
Harold Boeck (6:15) :
One last question for you. Where do you see your product being used? For what type of company? and what type of environment? What type of application? Are we talking about supply-chain management, asset tracking, all of the above?
Kevin Duffy (6:26) :
I think it’s in all of the above. As a marketeer you’re tempted to use superlatives, but these are our customers’ words: “Its applications are limitless”. We obviously have to be focused, methodological and deliberate about our go to market. We’ve done a great deal of work thus far in CPG, in supply chains that begin with distribution centers and extend into the retail floor area. We’re having a lot of success already extending that back into the production side of supply chain. While we haven’t announced anything in the outdoor domain, we’re anxious to look at the verticals in the area of asset tracking and RTLS.
Harold Boeck (7:00) :
Kevin Duffy, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing with Mojix, thank you very much for taking the time to explain to our listeners about your new product.
Kevin Duffy (7:08) :
Thank you Harold, it was a pleasure.
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