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The Prophetic Messenger - January/February 2004 - Ubiquitous Is Here - Part I

The Prophetic Messenger

A Newsletter From Mysteries From The Word Of God Ministries
January/February 2004 - Volume 6/Issue 1

Ubiquitous Is Here - Part I

"16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." Revelation 13:16-18

This article shows how the RFID technology will be used to track every person, animal and product on the earth to fulfil the prophecy in Revelation 13:17 which says "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." We will also share information about some key supporters for this technology and how they are bringing this technology to every product.


The technology that we have become accustomed to is also fulfilling another scripture in the Bible. In Revelation 13:16-18 (KJV) it says "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." In this passage we see a time coming when no one will be able to buy or sell without "the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." The technology to fulfill this scripture is already here and is called RFID or radio frequency identification. This technology will be able to track everything on the earth. It was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 to help save businesses money in lost, stolen and wasted products. MIT refers to this technology as Auto-ID. As of October 26, 2003 the Auto-ID Center officially closed. They have two separate organizations today. They are called Auto-ID Labs and the EPCglobal, Inc. The new Auto-ID Labs has six labs at some of the world's leading research universities. They are the following: 1. MIT in the US; 2. University of Cambridge in the UK; 3. University of Adelaide in Australia, 4. Keio University in Japan; 5. University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and 6.Fudan University in China. Notice how all these labs are located all over the world for easy access. Here is a quote from their web site "Auto-ID Labs continue the research and development work of designing, building and testing a global infrastructure - a layer on top of the Internet - that will make it possible for computers to identify any object anywhere in the world instantly. This network will not just provide the means to feed reliable, accurate, real-time information into existing business applications; it will usher in a whole new era of innovation and opportunity."(Note 1) For more information about the history of the Auto-ID Labs see their web site at www.autoidlabs.org

We see from the Auto-ID Lab's web site that RFID will identify everything on the earth using implanted microchips. These microchips are about the size of the head of an ant with a thin antenna attached. RFID will eventually replace the barcode that is used all around the world to identify products in stores. There are two types of RFID tags or microchips. These are called passive RFID and active RFID. With passive RFID, the tags must be scanned manually which requires that the RFID items must be in proximity to a reader unit. With active RFID the tags incorporate a battery that constantly broadcasts the chip's ID number.

The EPCglobal, Inc was formed as stated on the Auto-ID Labs web site as "a joint venture between EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, Inc." The website states that EPCglobal, Inc "carries forth the research completed by the Auto-ID Center to work toward the development of industry-accepted standards and commercial adoption. The newly formed organization has taken on the mission of working with end users, and hardware, software, and integration solutions providers to build the EPC Network infrastructure and support implementation."(Note 2)

You can read more about what they are doing on the internet at www.epcglobalinc.org

2. Key Supporters for RFID

The original Auto-ID Center had almost 100 global companies sponsors and partners to finance and provide support to the development of RFID. We will look at some key supporters for RFID to show how they are bringing this technology to every product on the earth.

a) Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is not only the world's biggest retailer but is also one of the largest grocery store chains in the United States. Here are just a few articles showing the money and determination to make this new RFID technology work on a global scale. In an article titled "Wal-Mart to Throw Its Weight behind RFID"(Note 3) says

"Inventory management technology that uses wireless signals to track products from the factory to store shelves is set to win a major new ally next week: Wal-Mart. The retail giant is expected to throw its weight behind RFID (radio frequency identification) technology at the Retail Systems 2003 industry conference in Chicago on Tuesday. Sources familiar with the company's plans said executives will make a presentation encouraging its top 100 suppliers to start using wireless inventory tracking equipment--chips affixed to products, and scanners in warehouses--by 2005......RFID tags have the potential to streamline and improve inventory management by allowing manufacturers to more efficiently enter and track the flow of goods. For example, RFID could let a company add a boxful of goods to its inventory systems all at once, without having to unpack the carton and scan each piece separately. An RFID scanner can pick up signals from all the chips in the sealed box, something bar code systems can't do. The cost savings could be substantial for Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer with sales of $217.8 billion in 2002. AMR's Abell estimates that Wal-Mart's costs associated with supply chain--including storing, transporting and keeping track of goods--are about 10 percent of overall sales. RFID, Abell said, could save 6 percent to 7 percent of those costs annually. Using the 2002 figures as a model, that would amount to about $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion saved."

In another article titled "Wal-Mart To Hold ID Tag Meeting"(Note 4) says

"Wal-Mart Stores and its largest 100 merchandise suppliers plan to meet this week to plot the implementation of a new high-tech inventory-tracking system, a project expected to send ripples across the retail industry. The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday near Wal-Mart's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, follows the megaretailer's announcement in June about its foray into a technology known as RFID (radio frequency identification). At the time, Wal-Mart asked its top 100 suppliers to join the effort and, starting Jan. 1, 2005, attach RFID tracking 'tags' to the millions of cases and containers they ship to the company. Among the companies congregating in Bentonville for a full briefing from Wal-Mart are industry giants Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods and Unilever, a Wal-Mart representative said. Some big names in information technology will also be in town, with IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Philips Semiconductor and SAP participating in an RFID 'tech expo' Wednesday......Procter & Gamble, which has been deeply involved in the testing and development of retail RFID systems for the last several years, is optimistic that RFID will be more than just another cost of doing business with the world's largest retailer. 'We see that this technology has huge benefits, even at the case and pallet level, in helping us to track our product and helping us understand how long does it take to get through the supply chain,' a P&G representative said."

In an article titled "Wal-Mart Puts Big Bucks Into Tracking Tech"(Note 5) says

"Wal-Mart plans to spend $3 billion over the next several years on a new inventory tracking technology that uses radio frequency signals to keep tabs on merchandise, sources familiar with the project said. The system is based on a technology known as radio frequency identification (RFID), a new breed of computer network designed to track the location of everyday objects such as razors and shoes by embedding them with special microchips. Wal-Mart has enlisted its top 100 merchandise suppliers to participate in the high-profile project, one of the first and largest of its kind in the retail industry....Wal-Mart's multibillion budget is an unofficial estimate that the company has discussed privately with other companies involved in the project, said the sources, who wished to remain anonymous. Nevertheless, the large sum bodes well for a number of information technology companies that specialize in the fledgling RFID niche. Among them are companies that make RFID chips and readers, including Philips Semiconductors and start-ups Alien Technology and Matrics. According to one source, Wal-Mart will spend about two-thirds of its RFID budget on readers and the installation of them in more than 100 distribution centers and thousands of stores.....Wal-Mart expects a big payoff from the technology, mainly from having fewer logistical errors and reduced labor costs related to inventory processing. One analyst pegged the savings at nearly $8.4 billion annually, once Wal-Mart completes the project."

In another article titled "Wal-Mart Used Microchip to Track Customers", subtitled "High-Tech Devices Monitor Product From Manufacturer's Headquarters"(Note 6) says

"Wal-Mart customers who picked up lipstick off the shelf at a Broken-Arrow, Okla., store were part of a little-mentioned experiment earlier this year that tracked consumer habits using Radio Frequency Identification technology, or RFID. Proctor & Gamble teamed with the retail giant in the test over a four month-period which allowed researchers to view the Wal-Mart shelves from company headquarters some 750 miles away in Cincinnati, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Also, the Max Factor Lipfinity lipstick had RFID tags hidden inside that allowed the inventory to be tracked leaving the shelves. The Chicago paper said it was informed of the study by a disgruntled P&G employee. Wal-Mart first denied the test, but then admitted it had allowed customers to be watched......But the Times report said other large retailers, such as Target and Home Depot, were testing the RFID technology to monitor inventory in their storerooms and distribution centers. Wal-Mart and the U.S. Department of Defense have been the biggest boosters of the technology."

Wal-Mart is not only taking the lead in implementing the RFID technology but is also causing its competitors to use the RFID technology.

b) Giant Eagle
The Giant Eagle supermarket chain has started using RFID in its warehouse. In an article titled "Giant Eagle to Trial RFID WMS", subtitled "One of the Largest U.S. Grocery Chains Has Chosen New Supply Chain Software with an Eye to Adopting RFID"(Note 7) says

"July 30, 2003 - Pittsburgh-based supermarket chain Giant Eagle is preparing an RFID pilot as part of an overhaul of its warehouse management system. The new system, which could include RFID if the test goes well, will support the company's 214 stores across four states. With estimated sales of more than $4 billion last year, Giant Eagle is one the largest food retailers in the United States. It is looking at RFID as a way to help streamline its distribution processes, reduce inventory levels and gain real-time visibility across its supply chain....Giant Eagle has five distribution centers (DCs). The first site is scheduled to go live with Manhattan Associates warehouse management application in the second quarter of 2004. These centers, which range in size from 75,000 sq. ft. to more than one million sq. ft., serve as way stations for health, beauty and cosmetics products, meat, frozen foods, and dry or perishable goods (two facilities)....RFID promises to help Giant Eagle gain access to real-time supply chain information that will help it to better manage not just its DCs, but also its suppliers and the supply network as a whole."

c) Tesco
The RFID technology is not only being used in the United States but across the world. In an article titled "Tesco Tests Spy Chip Technology", subtitled "Tags in Packs of Razor Blades Used to Track Buyers"(Note 8) says

"The supermarket chain Tesco has admitted testing controversial technology that tracks customers buying certain products through its stores. Anyone picking up Gillette Mach3 razor blades at its Cambridge store will have his or her picture taken. The Guardian, alerted by Katherine Albrecht, director of US-based Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy and Invasion and Numbering, to the use of the smart electronic tags, has found that tags in the razor blades trigger a CCTV camera when a packet is removed from the shelf. A second camera takes a picture at the checkout and security staff then compare the two images, raising the possibility that they could be used to prevent theft.....The trial uses radio frequency identification (RFID) in which tiny chips can communicate with detectors up to 20 ft away. The chip can then return information - anything from a unique serial number to more complex product details. Or, as in Tesco's case, it could trigger a camera.....The technology is mostly used to track batches of products through the supply chain. But manufacturers want to go a step further and tag each individual product: everything from yoghurt pots to clothes. One potential problem with RFID tags is that they can still work long after the product has been bought. If the tags become as ubiquitous as the manufacturers would like, people could be bristling with the chips in clothes and possessions. Anyone from police to potential thieves could work out exactly what they carry. Manufacturers, however, insist that the chips can be disabled at the point of sale.....Transport for London is also using RFID-style chips in its new Oyster smart cards to allow users to travel around the tube network. The intention is that registered users will have information such as their names and addresses stored on the cards, which would eventually replace season tickets. A spokesperson for TfL said that the entry and exit points of each journey made by Oyster users were recorded and that, technically, it would be possible to track people through the tube network. Nicole Carroll, marketing director for TranSys, the consortium responsible for implementing the system, told the Guardian that all the journeys made by a user would remain stored in a central computer for the lifetime of the card."

We are seeing this RFID technology being implemented on a global scale for every product.

d) Government Agencies
The USPS and the U.S. (DOD) are testing RFID and are planning to implement it on a large scale with suppliers.

1) U.S. Department Of Defense
In an article titled "U.S. Military to Issue RFID Mandate", subtitled "Following in Wal-Mart's Footsteps, the U.S. Department of Defense Plans to Ask Its Top 100 Suppliers to Put RFID Tags on Shipments"(Note 9) says

"Sept. 15, 2003 - RFID Journal has learned that the U.S. Department of Defense plans to ask its top 100 suppliers to put RFID tags on pallets, cases and big-ticket items. The military intends to spell out its plans in detail sometime next summer, but it is believed that tagging could begin in 2005......The military is already one of the leaders in using RFID technology. Currently all pallets sent to the Gulf and Afghanistan are tagged. Containers are tracked around the world using active (battery-powered) tags from Savi Technology. The DOD would apparently like to have suppliers tag not just pallets and cases, but also put active tags on containers and eventually GPS devices on all shipments to provide perfect visibility......The DOD suppliers are among the largest companies in the world. The top 100 would include Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. If the military does endorse EPC technology for tracking goods in the military supply chain, it could help spread EPC technology throughout the manufacturing sector because military's top 100 suppliers also have divisions that make commercial airplanes, electronic components, trucks, ships and other products." With many of these 100 suppliers also in the commercial business this will help reduce the cost of implementing this technology by using the military cost to develop RFID for both military and commercial use. In another article titled "Navy Puts RFID Into Service", subtitled "Doctors and Nurses at Iraq Military Hospital use the Technology to Track and Treat Patients"(Note 10) says "While retailers and distributors mull the use of radio-frequency identification chips to track products in their stores and supply chains, the U.S. Navy is already using them to track something far more precious: human lives. The Navy's Tactical Medical Coordination System, dubbed TacMedCS, helps simplify hospital administration, reduce errors, and provide better medical care. Each patient admitted into the Navy's Fleet Hospital Three in Iraq is tagged with an RFID-enabled wristband. The patients, who can range from U.S. military personnel to prisoners of war to refugees, are given unique ID numbers for the duration of their treatment. Doctors and nurses use a handheld RFID reader to scan the bracelet to confirm identity and enter information on diagnoses, treatments, and status into a central data system......As a result of the implementation in Fleet Hospital Three, the Navy has been able to keep important information with patients, track their location automatically, and keep closer track of their treatment, all of which has allowed it to improve the quality of medical care.......Similar RFID systems also are being used in U.S. civilian hospitals to track patients who require constant monitoring, such as newborn babies, says Frost & Sullivan analyst Deepak Shetty. There's been hesitation to deploy them widely because of fears over the reliability of the hardware and potential radio interference with other devices, he says. But the success of systems such as TacMedCS is likely to change that, and RFID should soon become commonplace in medical applications."

We see from this article that they are tracking and storing information in a database for not only the military but also in the civilian hospitals.

2) U.S. Postal Service
The USPS is investigating the RFID for tracking mail. In an article titled "Postal ID Plan Creates Privacy Fears"(Note 11) says

"A government report that urges the U.S. Postal Service to create 'smart stamps' to track the identity of people who send mail is eliciting concern from privacy advocates. The report, released last month by the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, issued numerous recommendations aimed at reforming the debt-laden agency. One recommendation is that the USPS 'aggressively pursue' the development of a so-called intelligent mail system. Though details remain sketchy, an intelligent mail system would involve using barcodes or special stamps, identifying, at a minimum, the sender, the destination and the class of mail. USPS already offers mail-tracking services to corporate customers. The report proposes a broad expansion of the concept to all mail for national security purposes. It also suggests USPS work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop the system......'We have a long history in this country of anonymous political speech,' said Ari Schwartz, associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. Any change that removes anonymity from the public mail system is 'making a major change to political discourse in this country,' he said. Such a system could also facilitate expanded government surveillance powers, said Chris Hoofnagle, deputy counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. For instance, the FBI is already allowed to photocopy the outside of unopened letters and packages sent and received by suspected criminals in order to monitor their communications, Hoofnagle said. An intelligent mail system could make conducting such "mail cover" activity easier, enabling the FBI to build databases tracking communication among people on a broader scale, he noted. Hoofnagle and Schwartz also questioned the cost and effectiveness of a system that hinges on proving the identity of millions of individual mail senders. Even an overhaul of the entire postal system may not thwart stamp-swipers and identity thieves, they said. "In order to close those holes, you have to move toward a police state," Hoofnagle said.....A USPS representative said the agency is still reviewing the report and declined to comment on its recommendations. However, the USPS already has been investigating intelligent mail technology for at least two years. It made development of the system part of a "transformation plan" it issued last year.....Major high-tech companies, including Canon, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Pitney Bowes, Symbol Technologies and Stamps.com, are pushing the Postal Service to adopt intelligent mail systems. Each participates in a special committee on intelligent mail run by the Mailing Industry Task Force, a cross-industry group formed in 2001 with the support of Postmaster General John Potter."

In closing, we are seeing Auto-ID Labs positioned all over the world and we are also seeing the implementation of this technology which will soon be in place to fulfill the scriptures. In Revelation 13:17 it says "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
Note 1: www.autoidlabs.org
Note 2: www.autoidlabs.org
Note 3: http://news.com.com/2102-1022_3-1013767.html?tag=ni
Note 4: http://news.com.com/2102-1008_3-5101416.html?tag=st_util
Note 5: http://news.com.com/2102-7337_3-5104493.html
Note 6: www.worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35629
Note 7: www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleprint/518/-1/1/
Note 8: www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4715747-103690,00.html
Note 9: www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleprint/576/-1/1/
Note 10: www.ti.com/tiris/docs/news/in_the_news/2003/6-9-03.shtml
Note 11: news.com.com/2102-1028_3-5062617.html?tag=ni_

Coming Up In The Next Issue

Ubiquitous Is Here Part II. Read this article in the next issue of The Prophetic Messenger.

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