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RFID and the Future of Engineering
All types of engineers will need to master the technology in the coming years.
Mechanical engineers will incorporate RFID into the machines they design for diagnostic and maintenance purposes, and to add value. It's long been envisioned that washing machines will recognize the clothes being tossed into them and adjust the cleaning cycle accordingly, while refrigerators will let you know when you are low on milk or other goods.
Electrical engineers are already embedding RFID in PCs and tablets (see Game Changer?). In fact, on Oct. 3, 2013, RFID Journal will host the RFID in High Tech conference and exhibition, which will focus on embedding radio frequency identification in electronics to better manage the production, transportation, security and sale of electronics items. RFID will also enable retailers to personalize electronics items while they are still in the box, and to add new services.
In addition, environmental engineers are incorporating RFID into systems for waste collection, separation and recycling, and are using wireless sensors to monitor the environment. These applications will become more common and sophisticated. And, of course, computer and network engineers will be responsible for incorporating RFID data collection into the systems and networks that power all businesses and other organizations.
My son doesn't realize it yet, but this is an exciting time to become an engineer. The changes in store are probably not going to be as dramatic as the Industrial Revolution was, but it will be akin to the 1980s, when we went from typewriters and general ledgers to computers, and to the early 2000s, when we went from calling on landlines to having a mobile phone in our pockets that can do just about anything. I can't wait to see what his generation does with RFID.
Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.
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