RFID Visionary Passes Away:
Last month one of the founders of RFID technology, Charlie Walton, passed away at the age of 89 after blazing a trail of innovation that will be followed by many for years to come. With a passion for ham radios at a young age, it was natural that he would pursue a career path that would encompass the technologies behind them. He attended Cornell University to study electrical engineering and was then picked by IBM to work in their research labs in 1960. After ten years at IBM, Walton went out on his own to try his hand at developing his own inventions through his company, Proximity Devices, in 1970. The primary creation that came out of this venture was the RFID lock, which ended up being licensed by Schlage, a large lock manufacturer. The technology he created can be found in the locking system you see at offices and other buildings that require a user to wave a card or RFID token across a sensor to open the door. The technology that he developed nearly 40 years ago is still in use, and its potential is still far from being fully realized. It can be seen in everything from logistics, to manufacturing, to everyday aspects of life such as the push button start seen on newer cars that utilizes RFID technology. With the recent passing of yet another technological visionary in Steve Jobs, it is prudent to recognize those who were the driving force behind many of the technologies help fulfill our everyday lives.