Can RFID and NFC Be Used in Outdoor Sports?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan RFID and NFC Be Used in Outdoor Sports?
RFID Journal Staff asked 4 years ago

For example, is there a use for the technology in climbing and mountaineering?

—Fazli

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Fazli,

RFID technology can certainly be used outdoors, though the tags would need to be protected from the elements. Whether RFID tags and readers could be used for mountain-climbing is another question altogether, and the answer would depend on what you wanted to do. If you wished to give participants NFC-enabled wristbands and check them into a climbing competition, then sure, RFID could be used for that purpose. If you wanted to put tags on the mountain and have them read automatically as climbers passed certain milestones, however, that would prove more challenging.

On a hike, someone could pull out their Android-based cell phone, which would probably contain a Near Field Communication (NFC) reader, and interrogate a tag at a certain checkpoint. You could develop an app that would take that tag ID and show the person’s location on a map, and you could plot tag locations with the GPS data from the phone. But it would be difficult for a mountain climber struggling up the face of a cliff to pull out a cell phone and read the tag—and he or she might not have a cell connection to relay the tag ID to your software.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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