RUSNANO (Russian Nanotechnologies Corporation) has inked a deal with Russia’s postal services according to a May 27, 2014 news item on Nanowerk,
Russian Post (Pochta Rossii) and RUSNANO signed an agreement at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on cooperation to apply nanotechnology solutions in postal services. The agreement was signed by the CEO of Russian Post, Dmitry Strashnov, and the Executive Chairman of RUSNANO, Anatoly Chubais. Russian Post and RUSNANO create a system for monitoring of postal deliveries.
A May 23, 2014 RUSNANO news release, which originated the news item, provides more detail,
The project involves implementation by Russian Post of a global monitoring system designed on a turnkey basis by RST-Invent LLC, a portfolio company of RUSNANO. The system will provides automatic registration of recorded-delivery mail and international mail passing through the postal network by means of radio frequency identification tags (RFID-tags). As well as supporting the timely delivery of mail, the new system will automate document handling, create mechanisms for mail flow management and improve postal logistics. Most importantly, the introduction of RFID-tags will ensure that post reaches its destination safely and quickly.
The project is scheduled for launch this summer and will be in operation by the end of 2014 at international postal exchange points (airport hubs in Moscow and St. Petersburg), and also at a number of major national and regional sorting offices, transit hubs and mail transportation offices at airports (Vnukovo Logistics Center, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don). It is expected that RST-Invent will equip a total of 25 postal exchange points in the course of the project as well as the National Monitoring Centre (NCM), which is being set up as part of the system .
This agreement is an integral part of the strategy for the modernization of Russian Post. The nanotechnology solutions offered by RUSNANO’s portfolio company will be an important tool for improving the business processes of Russian Post.
“RUSNANO technologies will enable us to improve our logistics and control over the quality of mail delivery,” said Dmitry Strashnov. “This agreement means that we can improve the quality of our services and raise levels of customer satisfaction.”
I have two observations about this news. First, if I remember rightly one of the issues with implementing a ‘universal’ RFID tagging system is the cost of the tag. Presumably, the Russians have solved this problem and, further, are prepared to deal with the data these tags will generate.
My second observation is this, the paranoids amongst us are likely to feel vindicated by this news as many suspect wide scale implementation of this technology. For example,I have a paranoid neighbour who is convinced that someone has been using RFID technology in some plot against her (the neighbour).