We all know the now legendary story of Walmart and their RFID mandate. In 2003, Walmart asked their “100 top suppliers to have product on pallets employing RFID chips and in cases with RFID chips.” The deadline to have their products tagged with RFID was 2006. But, by 2006, Dillman was reassigned away from the CIO position, and all the RFID talk slowed down. In early 2007, The Wall Street Journal ran an article title “Walmart’s Radio-Tracked Inventory Hits Static”.
With this story slowly fading into news history, it’s a fair question to wonder – will Walmart try to utilize RFID ever again? And, if so, when?
It is definitely a question that many in the auto-ID industry would love to know. After all, Walmart is still the biggest retailer in the world. So, you’ll excuse me if you think that I am making a mountain out of a molehill. Just last week Walmart CEO, Doug McMillon, posted a rather intriguing picture on his personal Instagram account.
The social media post showed and described Walmart’s most recent research on barcode technology. McMilon called it “technologies like invisible watermarking” that “could transform the way our customers check out”. The goal for technology like this is to allow items to be scanned faster at the check out line.
It’s just one social media post, and it’s not exactly RFID. But, if you were wondering if Walmart was interested in upping their auto-ID capabilities, you just got your answer!