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The new centers and pop-ups follow several years of expansion in SML's education efforts to help retailers and brands understand RFID and how they could use the technology. The effort is yielding good results, says Dean Frew, SML's chief technology officer and vice president of RFID solutions.
"We've seen increased interest from retailers and brand owners," he says. "They've been very interested in seeing ways that RFID can change the way they do business." In addition, the number of pilots has tripled since last year, he says.
SML, based in Hong Kong, has experienced dramatic growth in its RFID business, Frew says, adding: "As the market grows, we're growing with it."
The company says its expansion in the retail market is illustrated not only by the innovation centers and pop-up stores, but also by a 10 percent acquisition by Invengo. That sale serves to infuse more cash into SML as it grows its tag product and solution deployments, while also providing access to production facilities. Invengo's purchase helps SML reach more potential customers in China. It also provides the company with more manufacturing space, based on Invengo's Chinese tag manufacturing sites near Chinese customers that may be installing RFID technology for supply chain management as goods are produced and shipped from their plants. The investment by Invengo, however, does not affect SML's partnerships with other technology companies, such as reader manufacturers.
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