The State of the RAIN RFID Alliance
A RAIN Update – One Year Anniversary
We formed RAIN in April 2014. An idea backed by four companies, we presented the Alliance for the first time at the 2014 RFID Journal Live show. The idea was well received and we got some instant attention both at the show and on our (primitive) website.
Now one year later, the Alliance has grown, the Board of Directors has grown, and the work we are doing has grown. All very positive.
So let’s summarize the growth:
- We now have more than 70 members (1 May, 2015)
- We now have 5 elected board members and 2 ex-officio positions (president and AIM representative), and we will add a new elected member in April 2016
- We held our first Board Member renewal election
- We have revised the Operating Procedures to be more appropriate to our organization
- We have created workgroups to concentrate on specific goals
- We revised the Mission and Vision of the Alliance
- We created booth banners, table top signs, pins, and buttons for events we attend
- We updated the RAIN logo and made it available to all members
- We created a member directory on the website
- We have created a members-only forum
- We have held 2 members face-to-face meetings
- We attended several events as speaker, attendee, exhibitor
With more than 70 members, we have a variety of different categories of members. We have hardware manufacturers, software creators, system integrators, universities, test houses, consultants, and end-users. The members range from one person consulting to multi-billion dollar corporations.
Members are represented in the Alliance by the Board of Directors. This group of people have volunteered to give their time to help run the organization. The current Board members are:
- Frank Honoré, Google
- Chris Diorio, Impinj, Chairman of the Board
- Shahrokh Shahidzadeh, Intel
- Ralf Kodritsch, NXP
- Enu Waktola, Smartrac
The two ex-officia members are:
- Chuck Evanhoe, Evanhoe & Associates, Chairman of the Board of AIM
- Steve Halliday, president of RAIN
The Board members meet every two weeks (on average) and discuss the issues that the Alliance is looking at. The Board members are the voice of the membership. If you need something, or think that we should be addressing something then contact one of them and discuss it.
The Management Team
Top Row: Frank Honoré, Chris Diorio, Shahrokh Shahidzadeh, Ralf Kodritsch
Bottom Row: Enu Waktola, Chuck Evanhoe, Steve Halliday, Kerry Krause
We asked members to sign up and join in with our workgroups, and they did. The first six of our workgroups are:
- Education (How can RAIN better educate people about the technology and opportunities)
- Marketing (All issues related to Marketing – content, communication, events, press and analysts, etc.)
- Solutions (How to create solutions using the RAIN technology)
- Technical Oversight (new technical ideas, etc.)
- Developers Forum (help for the developer to implement RAIN technology)
- Smart Packaging (add technology to your packaging)
The membership has met twice in the past twelve months and we are currently working on the next two meetings.
September 2014 saw us in Washington DC as part of the AIM Summit. As well as discussing the work of the Alliance, members had the chance to hear some presentations on a variety of topics. We had 41 member companies in attendance.
The second meeting was held in Groenlo, The Netherlands. Hosted by Nedap, we again had a very full agenda and great attendance. With 33 member companies in attendance, the group not only got to talk about the Alliance moving forward but also got a tour of the Nedap facilities and a tour of the local Grolsch beer factory. The tour of Nedap was very interesting, but I suspect the beer at the end of the Grosch tour held a little more interest for some
And now we are planning out next two meetings. 24-25 June 2015 will see us in Portland OR, hosted by Intel. We will start with an open meeting, where anyone interested in RAIN RFID is invited to attend. Then we will have a full day member’s only meeting. There will be interesting presentations on the agenda, so we should have a great one and a half days.
The final face-to-face for 2015 will be in Seoul, South Korea on 26-27 October. Hosted by Hanmi, we are just putting together the details. The RAIN Alliance meeting will be adjacent to the IoT Korea Exhibition in Seoul on 23-30 October.
The Alliance has formally adopted mission and vision statements:
- Mission – To enable businesses and consumers to identify, locate and authenticate items in our everyday world
- Vision – A future where everyday things are part of a connected world … like raindrops to the sea
To go with these essential parts of a business we have developed an introduction PowerPoint and some graphics that explain our industry. Members are free to take the information and use it with their own information.
The graphic below shows the flow of information from items (things) using tags recognized by portals, sorted by software and registered to the network.
We have also developed versions of the RAIN logo specifically so that members can show their membership in the Alliance.
The operating procedures have also been cleaned up a few times to better reflect the way we want to do business.
From our early beginnings on the web, we have slowly grown the website and are currently about to unveil a new site designed from the ground up. The new site will integrate some of the areas we previously had, making it easier to navigate (especially for mobile users) and easier to maintain.
The RAIN Forum is the member’s only on-line area. With the name and password you get when you join the Alliance, you can visit the forum to download logos, presentations and other marketing material. You can also participate in the work of the various workgroups, joining conversations, proposing new ideas, reviewing minutes and working documents.
RAIN is building relationships with many of the companies that are holding events related to our industry. As well as having RAIN noted as a supporting organization (look for the RAIN logo), we are negotiating discounts for our members to attend, and creating opportunities for RAIN to take a speaking/moderating role in the events. We have booth pop-up banners for the Americas and Europe.
So far we have participated in:
The 2nd Annual Internet of Things Global Summit – realizing the potential of the IoT in Washington DC, 27 – 28 October 2014 – Speaker
Internet of Things Applications USA in Santa Clara, CA, 18-19 November 2014, moderator, speaker, exhibitor
MIT Event in Boston MA, USA, 26 February, 2015, moderator, speaker, exhibitor
RFID Journal Live in San Diego, CA, 15-17 April, 2015, speaker
Internet of Things Applications 2015 in Berlin Germany, 28-29 April, 2015, moderator, speaker, exhibitor
And of course we mustn’t forget the many times our members have promoted the RAIN RFID Alliance using table top signs at their booths at events they attend. Here is the CAEN RFID booth at CeBIT in Hannover, and the Voyantic booth at RETAILTECH in Tokyo
Finally, we need to report that the industry is doing very well. In 2014 we saw the adoption of RAIN RFID in the retail market accelerate and take off in many companies. At RFID Journal Live in 2015 we heard that Impinj has shipped its ten billionth tag chip.
Chainlink Research shared the following predictions for RAIN RFID:
And IDTechEx shared this infographic:
This is showing how RAIN RFID is going to play a significant part of the growth of the Internet of things in the coming years. We need to remember that many companies in the IoT world are addressing the Internet of “connected devices” not the Internet of “Things”. The IoT was created by Kevin Ashton when he used RFID to identify lipstick and we need to make sure everyone realizes that “things” are going to be much more prevalent than “devices” in the IoT.
I hope you got some useful information from the State of the RAIN RFID Alliance newsletter. If you are not already a member, then now is the time to join. Be a part of the movement that is set to make RAIN RFID a household word. You can download the membership form and the dues structure from our website at JOIN RAIN. You can sign up for the Portland, OR meeting on this survey.
Let it RAIN!
RAIN RFID Alliance