CNET reports that Gilette, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart and Tesco are planning to install “smart shelves” that enable inventory management by reading RFID tags of items on the shelves.
While the technology has appeared in other applications, such as cattle tracking, the tests appear to be the first by major retailers on such a large scale. If they prove successful at cutting costs, the trials could spur further adoption of the fledging technology, which has raised privacy concerns. Wal-Mart plans to carefully examine the technology’s potential to help it become more efficient while keeping shelves well-stocked.
Gillette also announced earlier this week that it plans to purchase 500 million RFID tags to embed in its product packaging.