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The Future of Business
Founded in 1999, the Auto-ID Center is a unique partnership between almost 100 global companies and five of the world's leading research universities; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the US, the University of Cambridge in the UK, the University of Adelaide in Australia, Keio University in Japan, and the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Together they are creating the standards and assembling the building blocks needed to create an "Internet of things."

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a simple concept with enormous implications. Put a tag - a microchip with an antenna - on a can of Coke or a car axle, and suddenly a computer can "see" it. Put tags on every can of Coke and every car axle, and suddenly the world changes. No more inventory counts. No more lost or misdirected shipments. No more guessing how much material is in the supply chain - or how much product is on the store shelves.

The Auto-ID Center is designing, building, testing and deploying a global infrastructure - a layer on top of the Internet - that will make it possible for computers to identify any object anywhere in the world instantly. This network will not just provide the means to feed reliable, accurate, real-time information into existing business applications; it will usher in a whole new era of innovation and opportunity.

The New Network
The Auto-ID Center is designing the critical elements of the new network. These elements include: Electronic Product Code or EPC, specification for cheap tags and cheap agile readers, Object Naming Service or ONS, Product Mark-up Language or PML and Savant software technology.

We are also developing the standards needed to ensure that products can be identified regardless of which manufacturer tags them, and we're building some of the software that will help manage the flow of data. Click here for a visual representation of how the new network will work.

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