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Can RFID Identify Computer Users in Need of Assistance?

Posted By RFID Journal, 01.23.2013
How can I use radio frequency identification to map approximately 400 computers within a building and then view, on a tablet screen, which machine's user requires help?

—Name withheld

To my knowledge, there is no off-the-shelf system that will do what you ask. There are active radio frequency identification transponders designed to track laptops and other devices that will allow you to see where they are located within a building. The interface could probably be adapted to display this information on an Apple iPad or Android tablet. However, such tags would not tell you if a user experienced a problem.

One solution might be to port a standard real-time location user interface to a tablet and then develop a customized database that would link location data to e-mail addresses, so that when an e-mail arrived at tech support, the user's location would be displayed. If the computers are desktops that are not often moved, you could utilize a system such as Zebra Technologies' Where Call transponders. These are active tags that can be affixed to assets, with a button that a user can push to signal that there is a problem. The tag would appear on the tablet with the user's location.

If any of our readers have other suggestions, they are invited to post them below. Thanks.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor,
RFID Journal

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