Is it possible to apply a passive tag to a mattress that can't be tampered with, and then use it to track deliveries, production and other details?
Yes, there are a few companies that have tagged mattresses. You would need a fairly durable tag, such as HID Global's SlimFlex. It could be attached inside the mattress and should be readable with little problem. You might consider attaching four tags, one on each side, and writing the same ID number to each. That way, the tag would be readable regardless of the orientation of the mattress. This would cost a little more, but the ease of reading the tag might make it worth the added expense.
You could install a portal reader at the shipping dock to record the tag ID of each mattress loaded onto a truck. Some companies put tags on the truck itself, and then read them to ensure that the correct mattress is put on the right vehicle. You could install a mobile reader linked to a GPS device inside the truck, so that when a mattress is delivered, tags would be read and the GPS location would be recorded.
This is definitely possible, and there are companies that will be exhibiting at our RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition—being held in San Diego, Calif., on Apr. 15-17—that could put together such a system for you fairly easily. I think the bigger issues would involve what the system would cost and what benefits you could derive. It is possible that you could save enough money in labor costs and mis-shipments that the system would deliver a return on investment, but some analysis would need to be performed to be sure.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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