Can you please provide a list?
This is a difficult question to answer, because it is a bit like asking what the advantages of a computer are. Just as a computer can be used for many different tasks, so, too, can radio frequency identification technology. There are many wildlife researchers tagging bees, birds, ants and other animals to better understand their behavior, for instance. There are also high-end handbag manufacturers putting RFID inside their products to be able to confirm their authenticity. These are two very different but very real applications—and they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Let me try to sum up some of the major benefits of deploying RFID. This is not a comprehensive list, but the technology has the ability to:
• Identify unique items, whether you are tracking cows or cases of soft drink, enabling them to be managed individually
• Quickly authenticate goods by giving them each a unique serial number, reducing the incidence of counterfeiting and diversion
• Collect data without the need for human involvement, lowering labor costs and increasing the amount of information that can be collected
• Track objects so that their movements can be analyzed and optimized, decreasing costs
• Collect data without a line of sight, enabling companies to, for example, check what’s in a box before it’s shipped
• Monitor worker activity, improving productivity
• Secure locations or containers, improving security
• Sense and record temperature, humidity, strain and other environmental conditions, providing an automated warning system that prevents loss
• Give robots the ability to identify unique items, enhancing their productivity
• Enable the triggering of a wide variety of actions, such as diverting conveyor belts based on a tag read
• Allow fast and efficient financial transactions, increasing profitability during peak periods
• Enable the quick and efficient pairing of electronic devices, such as an MP3 player and Bluetooth speakers
These are just some of the benefits. You can also check out my answer to a similar question in 2011. I encourage our readers to add some thoughts of their own.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal