I am researching how to utilize RFID wristbands to check in at events. By scanning a wristband against Facebook or Foursquare presence readers stationed at an event, a visitor would be able to check himself or herself in to that location. This check-in would then be automatically reflected on that person's Facebook newsfeed. In addition, a user would be able to scan the wristband in order to share photos and update his or her status on the social-media sites.
I came across your Web site in the course of my research, and am very impressed by an article that you published, RFID System Components and Costs. As such, I was wondering if your specialists could provide some advice regarding the estimated costs of the RFID components (wristbands, readers, middleware, consulting fees, social-media integration fees and so forth) required to carry out this RFID check-in procedure.
—Cheryl (Dayton, Ohio)
It is difficult to provide detailed pricing information, since price depends on volume, the type of wristband you use and many other factors. A wristband might cost $10 for one that is reusable and has some style—versus, say, $3 for a wristband that is used once and then thrown away. If you were to purchase 100 units of each, the price might be half of what you would pay if you bought 1,000 units. Cost also varies depending on whether you use passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) or passive high-frequency (HF) tags. HF tags are a little more expensive.
You would likely want to utilize fixed UHF or HF RFID readers. UHF readers typically cost about $1,000 to $2,000 apiece, depending on the number of antennas and other factors, while HF antennas tend to be cheaper. A module that can be embedded in a sign or some other object might cost $300.
Middleware might be free if it is open-source, or it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the application and installation. Integration of the RFID data with Facebook would likely cost around $15,000 to $20,000 for a smaller project, or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a large, complex deployment.
I hate to be so vague in terms of pricing, but unfortunately, it is difficult to provide detailed costs without knowing details pertaining to your particular project.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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