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Eight More Surprising Uses of RFID
Here are some exciting takes on radio frequency identification technology for 2018 and beyond.
2. Construction Sites: Smart Belts to Increase Worker SafetyLarge construction sites can be complex hives of activity where there's simply no way to keep track of employees using conventional methods. That's where RFID comes in.
Spot-r by Triax is a simple RFID tracking device that clips to workers' belts and helps to ensure that managers can contact them when needed (see New York Builder Brings Safety With Visibility via RFID). It also integrates with construction-management software, like Procore. The device registers if a worker slips or falls, alerting safety managers who can make sure aid arrives quickly. Workers can also use the devices to notify managers of any safety issues they might encounter.
3. Airlines: Customer Visible Real-Time Luggage LocationsAir travelers don't soon forget the nightmare of lost baggage and the bureaucratic headaches that often ensue. Now, RFID is putting their minds at ease. Since 2016, Delta Air Lines fliers who check bags have received mobile notifications as their bags are loaded onto and off of airplanes and when they reach carousels for pickup (see Delta Gives Green Light to RFID Baggage Tracking, Airline Industry Study Is Upbeat About RFID-Based Baggage Tracking, Delta Improves Customer Experience and Boosts Efficiency With RFID Baggage Tracking and Delta Air Lines Shows the Future of Retail).
By embedding RFID chips in each luggage tag, Delta has achieved an eye-popping 99.9 percent tracking success rate, according to the company. "In the same way that customers want information at their fingertips about flight changes, we know our customers want clear visibility to their checked bags," said Tim Mapes, Delta's chief marketing officer.
4. Supply Chain: An RFID-Integrated CryptocurrencyYes, it's another blockchain and cryptocurrency idea. This one has an interesting angle though, and might have legs. Named after Charlie Walton, the inventor of RFID technology, Waltonchain combines RFID with the same blockchain technology that powers the secure exchange of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to make connected devices much safer to use (see Loci, Waltonchain Form Strategic Partnership for RFID, Internet of Things Solutions).
"By attaching RFID chips to real-world objects, it gives them a unique digital identity which is then stored in immutable ledgers on blockchains," cryptocurrency expert Alex Saunders explained on YouTube. "What this is going to do is streamline inventory management and logistics, and by using that blockchain encryption it's going to make it far more secure than traditional Internet of Things models."
With Waltonchain, businesses and consumers can have access to a trustworthy and traceable history for each individual item's history. This opens up a ton of possibilities. New suppliers and retailers can work together without requiring trust to be formed in advance. Concerned consumers could, for example, self-verify that there is, in fact, no horse meat in their beef.
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