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RFID for WHAT? 101 Innovative Ways to Use Radio Frequency Identification (Part 3)

When it comes to radio frequency identification, imagination has no bounds. See how others are using RFID—it may spark your own ideas for new ways to employ the technology.
By John Edwards
Sep 19, 2011RFID Journal's editors and reporters recently surveyed the RFID industry as it now exists beyond traditional supply chain and asset-tracking applications, compiling a list of the 101 most innovative applications in fields ranging from mass transit to mobile marketing and beyond. Part 1 of this three-part feature story ran on Aug. 29, 2011, while part 2 appeared on Sept. 12. As you examine the list, you'll see how RFID is being used to solve everyday business problems in a wide variety of sectors, to enhance customer services, educate children, entertain people and more.

76. Enhancing Performers' Voices
At a performance of Carmen at London's O2 arena, the arias had a ring of authenticity. The opera singers were fitted with RFID tags, and a sound-locating system projected their voices to the 17,000 people in the audience, as if emanating directly from their exact location on stage. (See RFID Helps Focus Sound at Opera Productions.)

77. Monument Preservation
To prevent the medieval stone walls surrounding the Tower of London from degrading, the Historic Royal Palaces is monitoring the environment with Wi-Fi temperature, humidity and light sensors. The real-time data lets the organization adjust dehumidifiers, heaters or coolers, to respond to changing conditions. (See RFID Watches Over the Tower of London and Its Artwork.)

78. Guided Tours
Tens of thousands of people each year visit the Vyšší Brod Cistercian Abbey to see its churches, chapels and grounds. The monks provide visitors with devices equipped with Near-Field Communication technology, so they can learn about the 13th-century Czech monastery in their own language. (See Czech Monks Look to RFID for Guidance.)

79. Understanding the Museum Experience
Museum-goers at the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, in Switzerland, wore gloves with RFID tags and wireless biometric sensors, so researchers could see how they responded to the artwork. The system identified their location, to determine which specific artworks they were viewing, and for how long. It also tracked the electrical conductivity of their skin and their heart rates, to determine cognitive stimulation and emotional excitement. (See RFID and Sensors Illustrate Art's Impact on People.)
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