I am interested in tracking parts that are being moved into and out of a van, possibly similar to the Ford-Dewalt system (see Ford Builds RFID into Pickups and Vans to Track Cargo and Ford Thinks It Has the Right Tool for the Job: RFID), but without the expense and the need for a special built-in dash display to keep track of everything. Any suggestions?
There are two ways in which you could do this. One would be to mount a fixed reader with several antennas inside the van. You would need to have a battery to power the reader, or find a way to wire the reader into the van's electrical system. Another option, and perhaps an easier one, would be to use a handheld reader. A company called Invisi-Tag has developed a simple solution to do exactly what you are trying to do. There is a video on YouTube that shows the company's solution.
You could also create your own solution. You would need on-metal tags for any assets made of metal, and you would need to make sure the tags could adhere to your assets and be read reliably. I would recommend buying a selection of tags online and testing them. You could purchase a reader that links to a smartphone and runs a simple app on the phone. U Grok It, Technology Solutions (UK) Ltd. and Zebra Technologies offer such devices.
You could also purchase an exhibit hall pass to our RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, at which you'd be able to meet the tag and reader providers in person. The event will be held in Orlando, Fla., on May 3-5.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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