Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): The Fuss and the Facts


Date Thursday August 9th 2007
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

RFID has been in the news a great deal recently. I will describe our research at MIT, which lead to the EPC suite of RFID standards now being used by Wal-Mart and over a thousand other companies worldwide. I will discuss the economics of RFID, reader and tag hardware, communication standards and software challenges. Privacy and public policy issues related to RFID have also garnered considerable press in the last few years. I will cover some recent thinking on these topics and describe security in RFID. I will end with a description of the applications of RFID.


Sanjay Sarma is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, the CTO and board member of OAT Systems, a leading company in RFID middleware. He also sits on the board of EPCglobal, a standards body that administers the EPC/RFID effort worldwide. Dr. Sarma helped to set up the Auto-ID Research Council at MIT, consisting of six international laboratories, and until recently, was the Council's Chairman of Research. The center has developed many of the technical concepts and standards of retail RFID, including the suite of standards commonly referred to as the EPC, which are being used by over a thousand companies on five continents.

Dr. Sarma obtained his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, and has over 50 publications in computational geometry, virtual reality, manufacturing, CAD, RFID, security and embedded computing.

Additional information

Focus Areas

Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

Licensing & Commercialization Opportunities

We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for¬†Commercialization.


PARC scientists and staffers are active members and contributors to the science and technology communities.