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Pub Talk

"The New, New Media - How Networked RFID Readers Create a New Commercial Medium"
By Dr. Richard Swan, Director of Corporate Research, SAP Labs LLC
5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Open to the Public. The Pub Talk begins at 6:00 p.m.

The combination of inexpensive Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) tags and large-scale networks of compatible and interconnected RFID readers will create a new kind of media. There are strong business reasons for tagging consumer goods and tracking them from the manufacturer through the supply chain. The MIT Auto-ID Center promotes this as the replacement for the barcode. However, these emerging cross-industry networks will enable a new kind of bi-directional communication between enterprises and objects. Not only will there be messages from objects like "Hi, I just arrived at the backroom of store #135 in Fernville," and "Hi, I was just placed into a shopping basket by Ms. J. Smith" - but also messages to objects like "Dear Dr. Detergent, your price is now discounted by $0.50" and "Dear Mr. Non-Skid Breaks, you have been recalled. Your driver will be informed next time they buy gas."

At this Pub Talk, Richard Swan will describe some examples of pilot RFID networks being built by SAP and their partners, and will very briefly show a vision for large-scale cross-industry deployment of Auto-ID.


Dr. Richard Swan is the Director of Corporate Research at SAP Labs in Palo Alto. The groups' "Smart Item Infrastructure" research program is being deployed in several pilots with major customers. Dr. Swan is leading the definition of SAP's technical product strategy in this space. Other current research areas include desktop and mobile multimodal speech. Dr. Swan is the founder of SAP's Voice Center.

Dr. Swan has led the development of a wide range of bleeding, hairy edge software and hardware systems. At Carnegie-Mellon University he developed Cm*, then the largest multi-microprocessor system. As Vice President for Engineering at Megatest (now Teradyne), he designed and brought to market the world leading and industry trend setting "tester-per-pin" architecture, MegaOne. At Digital Equipment, he lead research at the Western Research Lab that was a pioneer in RISC architecture, TCP/IP networking, and web applications like the "Future-Fantasy" bookstore and developments that lead to AltaVista. As Co-founder of Rte One, Dr. Swan designed a satellite based video distribution system for broadcast advertising. He has also designed other widely used test systems and was the architect of a BSkyB set top box sold under the Grundig brand with multi-millions of units sold. As Director of Engineering in Cadence's Information Appliance unit, Dr. Swan led numerous contract designs, including several RFID based projects.