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BlogsAsk The Experts ForumHow Is RFID Being Used for Archaeology and at Museums?

How Is RFID Being Used for Archaeology and at Museums?

Posted By RFID Journal, 07.06.2017

Can you please provide some example applications?




RFID is used in a variety of ways in museums. One way is to create interactive experiences for visitors. At the Horsens Prison Museum in Denmark, for example, visitors can receive a badge with a specific historical figure's name and image on it. They can then follow that prisoner's experiences through the prison. A passive HF RFID transponder inside the badge has a serial number associated with the specific prisoner, so when a visitor places the badge near a reader corresponding with an exhibit, it calls up a video associated with that particular prisoner (see RFID Locks Up Visitor Interest at Horsens Prison Museum).

I've listed some other examples of RFID being used to create interactive exhibits below, but there are other applications as well. One is to monitor the condition of artwork or artifacts. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Cloisters branch is using a wireless sensor system from IBM Research to manage data regarding temperature, humidity and other environmental conditions around artwork (see NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art Adopts RFID). Museums in Macau are doing something similar (see RFID Sensors Help Macau Museums Protect Art and Artifacts).

Museums are also using RFID to manage artwork and artifact inventories. The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art (NTMOFA) uses a hybrid passive and active radio frequency identification system to manage the movements of its artwork and visitors into and out of its warehouse, and to identify the locations of works of art at one its 24 exhibit halls (see National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art Adopts Active-Passive RFID Solution). Malaysia's National Museum, in Kuala Lumpur, is using RFID to track items in storage, as well as loans (see RFID Helps Malaysian Museums Track Artifacts).

Here are some additional examples of museums using RFID to create interactive exhibits:
Armed With RFID, Star Trek Exhibit Boldly Goes into Museums
RFID-Enabled SECRET Missions Boost Museum Membership
Estonian National Museum Deploys RFID-Controlled Informational Signage
Drents Museum Uses RFID to Create a Personalized Visitor Experience
London History Museum Adopts Technology of Future
Asian Art Museum Enhances Visitor Experience With BLE Beacons
At Cooper Hewitt Museum, Visitors to Become Designers With NFC
Telecom Museum Calls on UWB RTLS to Provide Location-Based Content
RFID Ignites Interest in Nazi Explosives Museum

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal


Richard Clark 2019-04-07 09:10:41 AM
This covers the museum and archives question, but what about in the field? I'm considering the potential for RFID to be used as a buried, metal detectable ID to be placed at various key positions on an Archaeology site, or to mark where artifacts were removed. Only the simplest RFID IDs would be needed, but durability is key. The tags would be hand-placed, horizontally, in the bottom of holes as they are filled.

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