the future after barcodes: RFID tags - supertag, etc., where to get the latest information

Mark K. Stowe mks at ZOO.UFL.EDU
Tue Sep 5 08:38:14 CDT 1995

(Apologies for cross-posting)

I was skeptical at first but since it would be very helpful technology for
a research project I am working on, I have done a lot of reading on
Supertag and other rfid tags and I am now convinced that they will displace
barcodes in most applications and will, to put it plainly, revolutionize
the way humans organize and keep track of just about everything.  I would
urge anyone who inventories anything to familiarize themselves with what is

However, I have also corresponded with the inventor of Supertag and with
the president of the main American competition (Single Chip Systems in San
Diego) and they indicate that there will be no commercial availability for
1 yr, and no easy availability for at least 2 years.  It will take a few
years for the tags (which can be as small as 1mm by 5mm) to reach the
predicted 5 cent level and the readers (capable of reading 100s of tags at
once from a distance) the $30 level.

Supertag has its own website:

If the information there doesn't astound you and get you're imagination
going, read about the bulkier 'tags' being built by a third company, Savi,
in the article at


Supertag and Savi are getting all the popular press, but Single Chip
Systems which seems to be avoiding publicity as much as possible, claims
they will have a better product to market before Supertag.

If you want to get the latest breaking news about this technology you might
want to subscribe to AutoID News which also has all the ads/news about
barcodes, as well as the usual plethora of annoying acronyms you find in
most trade journals. They have their own site at

They are supposed to have a more sophisticated site with links to all the
AutoID companies, as well as primers on different technologies at:

But it doesn't seem to be up yet.

In the Sept. issue they are supposed to have a print out of all the
relevant www sites.

These companies envision tags in everything, and it's hard to predict when
the factory capacity will be realized that can produce the trillions and
trillions of chips that will be required.  But I wouldn't spend a fortune
investing in barcode technology right now without a lot of soul searching.

Best wishes,


Mark Stowe c/o Jon Reiskind
Department of Zoology
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
E-mail: MKS at ZOO.UFL.EDU
phone: 904 373 3202, 904 392 1187
fax: 904 392 3704

More information about the Taxacom mailing list