Electronic Product Code Promises to Deliver Shopper Benefits: Entertainment Industry and Retailers Team Up With EPCglobal To Test EPC Technology On DVD Releases

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A pilot test scheduled to begin on September 25 will demonstrate Electronic Product Code (EPC) technology on 12,000 new DVD releaseis. The pilot is a collaborative effort between movie studios, DVD replicators, distributors, merchandisers, retailers, technology companies, industry associations as well as GS1 EPCglobal Inc, the global not-for-profit standards organization which supports the adoption of the Electronic Product Code.

Consumers won't necessarily see all these benefits during the pilot test, but that the future of EPC holds tremendous promise

Shoppers at select stores located throughout the country will have the opportunity to see firsthand Electronic Product Code (EPC) technology on new DVD releases during a pilot test scheduled to begin on September 25. The pilot is a collaborative effort between movie studios, DVD replicators, distributors, merchandisers, retailers, technology companies, industry associations as well as GS1 EPCglobal Inc, the global not-for-profit standards organization which supports the adoption of the Electronic Product Code.

"This pilot test will allow us to identify how technology based on EPCglobal standards can best be put into place in retail stores for media and entertainment products like DVDs. The goal is to illustrate the benefits to consumers and participating companies when the technology is used effectively," Chris Adcock, president of GS1 EPCglobal Inc explains.

The EPC uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to uniquely identify an object. Retailers can use the EPC to ensure that products are kept in stock to meet shopper demand as well as helping shoppers find the right product in the right place inside the store. Over the last few years, the EPC has become a popular way to identify pallets and cases of goods on their way to retail stores.

Electronic readers inside the store read the unique serial numbers from EPC labels and relay this information back to store staff. EPC labels do not contain, collect or store any personal information. The EPC label has no power source and can only transmit its unique number when it is less than about 10 feet from a reader that activates the label. The power - or strength - of readers is strictly regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. The actual distance from which an EPC label can be read may be shorter because barriers such as shopping bags and other factors such as the presence of metal materials or nearness of walls or other obstructions weaken a reader's signal. The labels can be removed after purchase.

During the pilot test, EPC labels will be placed on more than 12,000 new DVDs issued by studios and distributors including 20th Century Fox, Cinram, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Technicolor and Warner Home Video. The EPC-labeled DVDs will be available at several national retail chains including Wal*Mart and Best Buy at stores in markets including the Twin Cities in Minnesota and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. More than fifteen movie titles are involved in the pilot test.

According to Adcock, the potential benefits of EPC to consumers are improved product availability, faster service and better quality assurance. "Consumers won't necessarily see all these benefits during the pilot test, but that the future of EPC holds tremendous promise," Adcock says.

One of those potential benefits should please shoppers according to Adcock. "We've all had the frustrating experience of a store associate telling us that a DVD is in stock, but they can't find it on the shelves. EPC can help eliminate that problem," Adcock says.

Other partners participating in the pilot test include: ADT Sensormatic, Avery Dennison, Checkpoint Systems, Handleman Company, Impinj Inc., Mosaic Entertainment, Motorola Inc., Nashua Corporation, NXP Semiconductors, OATSystems, Omron RFID, Printronix, SATO America Inc, T3Ci, TrueDemand Software, UPM Raflatac, Vue Technology, and Zebra Technologies.

More information about the Electronic Product Code can be found at http://www.aboutepc.org

About EPCglobal Inc
EPCglobal Inc. is a subsidiary of the global not-for-profit standards organization GS1, and supports the global adoption of the Electronic Product Code as industry-driven standards to enable accurate, immediate and cost-effective visibility of information throughout the supply chain. In the end, the business community is improving its operations through EPCglobal standards in order to be more efficient, flexible and responsive to consumer needs.

More information about EPCglobal Inc. can be found at http://www.epcglobalinc.org.

CONTACT:    Rob Thibault                Karl Van der Spiegel
    EPCglobal North America        GS1 EPCglobal
    Office    609-620-4656            Office +32 2 788 7816
    Mobile    609-712-1558            Mobile +32 477 771 924
    rthibault@gs1us.org            karl.vanderspiegel@gs1.org

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