Amazon partners with Auburn's RFID Lab
Dave ClarkDave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations, announces a partnership between Amazon and Auburn University's RFID Lab at Wednesday's grand opening.
In moving to Auburn University in 2014, the lab was reunited with its founder, Harbert College of Business Dean Bill Hardgrave. Hardgrave helped launch the lab at the University of Arkansas in 2005.
Even though its location has changed, the lab has continued to work with leading retail, supply chain, manufacturing and technology companies.
"As the RFID industry expands, it's important to have as many users engaged in the lab as possible as lessons from one industry often hold true for others," Auburn University RFID Lab Director Justin Patton said. "Having unique retail partners like Amazon engaged in the lab allows us to focus on the research questions that are most crucial to many different users, and add the academic validation that helps bring maturity to the evolving market."
Amazon has utilized RFID technology in its fulfillment centers, the massive facilities where customer orders are picked from shelves, moved on conveyers and loaded onto trucks for rapid shipping and delivery. Founded in 1994 and based in Seattle, the company's footprint includes more than 100 fulfillment centers worldwide.
Located in a former supermarket, the 13,000-square foot Auburn University RFID Lab offers simulated retail, grocery and convenience store space, as well as warehouse and distribution center environments.
The Auburn University RFID Lab established the first RFID "tagged item certification program" to assist retail product manufacturers. RFID technology utilizes computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to aid in the wireless tracking of items.