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The Crossroads of Communications and RFID

Communication devices are paving the way for advanced RFID capabilities, and are laying a roadmap to more profitable businesses and efficient workforces.
By Dave George
Jul 08, 2018

Gone are the days when cellphones were mainly used to talk. Now, smartphones are portable computers that function as networks that support both our personal and professional lives. Yet, despite its prominent position among the workforce, not all businesses have taken advantage of cellular capabilities. However, hardware and application breakthroughs are enticing companies to view phones as less of a social device, and more an all-in-one communications and RFID management tool.

Apps Make RFID Accessible
Smart devices have become a critical link to IoT advancements. They can function as both readers for bar-code scanning and writers used during transactions via RFID readers. These abilities will continue to be exploited by mobile application developers and will eventually eradicate the need for expensive software installations and equipment. An employee simply needs to install the app on his or her phone, to be used in conjunction with RFID tags and readers.

Data can be shared or searched company-wide as it becomes available. Real-time updates are a timesaving convenience that benefit both a business and its customers. Airlines have also created apps that allow users to track their luggage's journey via RFID tags. As a technologist, I believe users will soon be able to receive more real-time information from a multitude of sources simultaneously, without ever having to touch a communications device.

As app sophistication advances, the voice function could become a much lower priority than data that supports a plethora of new capabilities, though some of these same apps might also include messaging. An RFID-deployment app could contain push-to-talk (PTT) over cellular (PoC) capabilities that won't only be limited to logistics and supply chain departments. Public transportation, field services, retail, professionals and other users from across many vertical markets are already incorporating industry-specific PoC applications.

In the hospitality and property-management sectors, radio communications were once managed by the maintenance department. Now, more often than not, they are run by the IT department, and employees are using iPod Touches with PoC apps, which are tied to the company's computer networks. This is just one example of sophisticated adaptation to new communication technologies.

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