Industry and academics share RFID advancement

Shirley Lam


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an emerging technology expected to bring revolutionary development in the supply chain sector. A forum on the “Advances in RFID Technology,” at CityU on 30 March, attracted over 100 academics, industrialists and business executives craving new knowledge in the field.


The talk by Dr Lawrence Cheung, Principal Consultant and Head of Mobile Business Solutions Unit of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), kicked off the Emerging Technology Forum series co-organized by the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and the CityU Business and Industrial Club (CUBIC). CUBIC is a non-profit programme launched in 1993 to develop close links with the local business and industrial communities.


An RFID system consists of an antenna and a transceiver which reads the radio frequency and transfers the information to a tag which is an integrated circuit containing the RF circuitry and information to be transmitted. RFID eliminates the need for line-of-sight reading upon which bar coding relies and scanning can be done at greater distances than bar code scanning. RFID, which allows for non-contact reading, is effective in manufacturing and other hostile environments. “The automatic reading and identification of goods in containers, pallets and carton boxes will save time in traffic flow and customs clearance between the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong and overseas ports,”Dr Cheung said . “The recent technological advances and market development in RFID systems will have significant impact on supply chain management and manufacturers’ operating efficiency.”

 Technical issues to be tackled

“Development of RFID is just starting to take off; many technical issues still need to be tackled,” said participant (Chair) Professor K M Luk , Department of Electronic Engineering. “While HKPC focuses more on the application aspect, CityU experts can contribute to technological development. There is a vast potential for joint research.”


Another participant, Dr L M Cheng, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Engineering and Information Technology, also found the forum very useful. “It facilitates exchange and communication between academics and industry and opens up collaboration opportunities,” he said.


In addition to keeping CityU faculties abreast of emerging technologies that are of great potential application to businesses and industries, Mr H Y

Wong, Director of TTO said, “What is more important is the forum provides an avenue for exchange and networking with the industrial and business sectors.”


TTO launched the Technology Transfer Forum Series last year to introduce CityU’s technologies to the industries to draw support for commercialization. The Emerging Technology Forum works the other way round by inviting speakers from the industry to update academics on the latest technology. Three more forums focusing on hot topics in the industry will take place later in the year.








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