RFID is a "radio wave" technology that has been around since WWII - originally used to track airplanes in flight.

Technology advancements with RFID have started to revolutionize the way we identify things -an item can easily be commonly tracked at every step of its lifecycle.

RFID is a lot more than a substitute for bar codes
  - much more granular identification
  - can be placed within the product (v/s attached) - more durable
  - does not require line-of-sight or manual “scans” to ‘read’ the tag

The focus on Wal-Mart the last year or so is but the “tip of the iceberg”… the number of industry leaders with announced RFID programs in the last 15 months is truly staggering.

The technology used for any RFID deployment includes tags, readers and middleware server(s).  Together these make up a typical RFID System.