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Our involvement in developing the future retail systems

In 1990 Mike Marsh revolutionised the future of low cost RFID by developing the Supertag® protocol. (See patents). As part of a demonstration version Mike Marsh and his team developed the first RFID scanning trolley system which was demonstrated with 35 items loaded into a trolley at the Menlo Park, (Pretoria, South Africa), Pick 'n Pay in January 1994.

Images of photographs released to the Press at the launch of low cost multiple article scanning system on 14 January 1994.
( from Press Pack of Jan 1994 from Mining Systems Programme of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)

Supertag is the registered trademark of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Supertag technology is available for licensing from that organisation

In 1994 Mike Marsh and Trevor Hodson left CSIR and later started Trolley Scan (Pty) Ltd to further develop RFID systems.

Trolley Scan developed firstly a new protocol called Trolleyponder® which advanced further the potential of low-cost RFID and which was followed by further developments in the low power energising of RFID transponder which has become known as EcoTag®, (See patents). Trolley Scan also significantly reduced the barriers to entry for companies wanting to become RFID suppliers via its revolutionary datapack and promoting the use of subcontractors.

As part of furthering its low cost RFID programme for the retail sector, Trolley Scan supported the efforts of Ms Le Tong, an Industrial Design student in Australia who produced the Branders (The South African Afrikaans word for waves) demonstration version as part of her studies.

The Branders concept version took the scanning of trolleys using low cost RFID incorporating EAS features, as developed by Trolley Scan, to new levels allowing completely unmanned self service checkouts to be developed.

Besides providing fast, accurate reading of the contents of the trolley, the incorporation of the EAS features in the Trolleyponder® system allow store owners the security of knowing that all goods have been counted and paid for.

Trolleyponder and EcoTag are the trademarks of Trolley Scan. The technology is available for licensing from Trolley Scan.

Mike Marsh has played a major role in the design, development and promotion of low cost RFID as an automatic identification technology ideally suited to the retail environment. Although the initial tests in 1994 were slightly clumsy due to the mounting of the reader systems, the Branders system has left that behind and promises to be a successful concept which can be implimented by technology leaders who want to advance into the new technologies.

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