Could the technology detect a change in the equipment’s location aboard an airplane?
The answer would depend on how you set up your particular system. To date, I believe that the few airlines that have deployed radio frequency identification to read tags on life vests have simply counted them to make sure there is one vest under every seat. The way in which they employ the technology, however, would not indicate that the vest under seat 1A was switched with the one under seat 4B.
It would be possible to tag each location and associate a life vest or other object with that specific location. This would require the scanning of two tags. If the tag associated with a location was different than the one recorded in the database, an alert would pop up.
The following stories may be of interest to you:
• Boeing Program Automates Aircraft Maintenance Tasks
• RFID-Enabled Vests Improve Visibility and Traceability
• RFID Finally Cleared for Takeoff
• Lufthansa Expands RFID Use
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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