Humans have gotten used to the idea of retrieving data from their thermostat, car, and smartwatch. But how would you feel about similar data coming from simple, non-electronic objects? It could be possible thanks to radio frequency identification, or RFID. The implications of this emerging technology are massive, from simple conveniences to life-saving possibilities.
An RFID tag can be placed on nearly any object like a sticker. It then reads the movement of objects in the room and transmits the information to an RFID reader via radio waves.
RFID technology originated in 1948, but its use remained fairly simplistic until recent years when the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) led to increased possibilities for data collection and analysis. Products that previously used barcodes for tracking are evolving to use RFID instead, allowing data to be collected, tracked, and analyzed. RFID tags are also more durable than a barcode and less likely to experience damage that prevents them from being used.
At first RFID tags could only transmit a tiny amount of data to the reader, typically letting the reader know whether the object was present or not. Today the tags can hold enough data to paint a much more complete picture of how the object has been used, and what has gone on around it. The reader can interpret activity by detecting changes in the radio waves coming from the tag, telling it whether the object has been moved and where it was moved from & to. Once that data is logged in an advanced computer program, algorithms translate it into actions to paint a picture of what happened to and around the object, which objects are nearby, how many there are, and showing each object’s path as it moves. This additional data is what could truly revolutionize the world around us and put more data in front of us than ever before.
RFID is a type of Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technology. That means that data is collected based on the movement of an object and transmitted directly to a computer where humans can review and analyze it. The automated nature of this technology has the potential to change the world since data can be continuously collected without the limitation of human attention. That means you could have nearly unlimited information at your fingertips and could pick and choose what matters to you.
RFID technology still has a long way to go before its full potential is reached. The more objects that are equipped with RFID technology, the better we can use it to improve the way we live and do business. Because of the vast amounts of applications RFID can be used for, this technology could really transform our world in the near future.
- Business owners can improve nearly every aspect of their operations with a better understanding of how products are used
- Airlines can track baggage as it moves from one place to another, and erase the mystery of lost baggage
- Maintenance crews can track service schedules, as well as the comings and goings of service equipment
- Access to restricted areas can be fully automated
- Those caring for elderly or disabled loved ones can have additional peace of mind by tracking their use of medications
And any of us could use the technology in our own home to better understand our own patterns and tie behaviours to outcomes. As RFID technology expands and evolves, the possibilities are truly endless.
For more RFID solutions, check out Jet Marking’s RFID systems by clicking here.