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RFID for WHAT? 101 Innovative Ways to Use Radio Frequency Identification—Part 10: Safety and Security

Protecting the public and workers and deterring theft.
By John Edwards
Aug 01, 2011Presented below is part 10 of an 11-part series examining the use of radio frequency identification for unexpected applications. In this chapter, we consider RFID's use in the arts.

82. Working on the Railroad
Bombardier Transportation developed an RFID solution to protect subway track workers from speeding trains. Workers wear tagged vests that link to readers installed on the track. The readers, in turn, connect to warning lights and speakers. The system alerts workers to oncoming trains, and lets conductors know workers are on the track, so they can slow down and proceed with caution. (See 'Sketch' the User Experience to Ensure an RFID Project's Success.)

83. Protecting Miners
Mining companies are relying on RFID to locate miners in the event of an accident or evacuation. They are also using RFID to prevent underground vehicular collisions, which are common occurrences since it's tricky to navigate in loud, dark, rugged environments. RFID and sensor technologies situated throughout a mine can alert mine operators on the surface—in real time—about dangerous levels of gases building up anywhere underground, so the operators could evacuate the mines. (See Mining New Value From RFID and Australian Mining Contractor Prevents Vehicular Collisions.)

84. Countering Terrorism
Alco Water Service, a water utility that maintains unmanned pump stations throughout Salinas, Calif., employs RFID to track personnel and equipment, to gain better visibility into the use of its stations—for operational efficiency and to comply with the Bioterrorism Act. The system ensures that only authorized workers can enter the pump stations. (See California Water Utility Uses RFID to Reduce Terrorism Risk.)
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