Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer, is widely regarded as the “father of the Internet of Things” (IoT) due to his contributions to coining the term in 1999. However, his expertise extends beyond IoT as he played a significant role in developing Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. This article will delve into his groundbreaking work on RFID, particularly at Procter & Gamble and MIT.

RFID Technology: A Game-Changer for Supply Chain Management

During Ashton’s tenure at Procter & Gamble as a supply chain manager in the early 1990s, he recognized the need to improve the company’s inventory management system. To address this issue, he turned to RFID, a wireless technology that allowed product tracking using wireless devices transmitting data to a central computer system. Ashton initiated a pilot program to test the technology’s capabilities, which led to significant cost savings and efficiencies in the inventory management system, explicitly reducing out-of-stock items and inventory costs.

Ashton’s success in implementing RFID at Procter & Gamble caught the attention of the broader technology industry, paving the way for his future work on the IoT.

RFID Technology at MIT’s Auto-ID Center

After his stint at Procter & Gamble, Ashton continued his groundbreaking work on RFID technology at MIT’s Auto-ID Center. Ashton recognized RFID’s potential to revolutionize inventory management, supply chain management, and logistics. He developed the Electronic Product Code (EPC) with his colleagues, a unique identification system enabling companies to track products from production to the point of sale. This was a significant breakthrough in the field, allowing for greater visibility and efficiency in supply chain management.

Ashton’s work on RFID technology at MIT cemented his reputation as a technology pioneer and made significant strides in the development of the IoT.

The Legacy of Kevin Ashton

Ashton’s pioneering work on RFID technology laid the foundation for the IoT and transformed how we interact with technology and the physical world. The implementation of RFID technology at Procter & Gamble led to significant cost savings and efficiencies, while his work at MIT paved the way for the development of the EPC and other technologies that have revolutionized supply chain management.

Today, RFID is utilized in various applications, from tracking inventory in retail stores to monitoring goods’ movements in shipping containers. Kevin Ashton’s contributions to the field of technology have had a profound and lasting impact on society, and his legacy continues to inspire innovation and change.


In conclusion, Kevin Ashton’s pioneering work on RFID technology has revolutionized the world of technology and beyond. His expertise and contributions to RFID technology and the IoT have transformed supply chain management, leading to significant cost savings and efficiencies. Today, his legacy continues to inspire new innovations and advancements, contributing to the creation of a connected world. Kevin Ashton is a true visionary and a testament to how technology can positively impact society.

Related Book Review

Artificial Intelligence – Story & History” by Safa Al Ameri is a thought-provoking book that explores the history and future of the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and humans. The author takes a pragmatic approach to show how AI can be an opportunity rather than a threat. This book is perfect for individuals and business-oriented people who want to learn more about the future of AI and how it will impact their everyday lives. Readers will learn about the ethics of AI, bio-inspired computing, augmented intelligence, the future of the digital workforce, AI and machine learning, using AI in business, and much more. The author provides a mental toolkit to evaluate the reliability of the information supplied by AI and to understand how it will become an integral part of everyone’s existence. Overall, this book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the future of technology.

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