RFID in Data Logging

data-logging-rfid-blogRFID technology has been increasingly used in tracking inventory and equipment. This passage aims at analyzing this emerging data acquisition trend and how it’s already challenging more conventional products over a wide variety of tracking applications.

RFID tags wirelessly send data via radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. When the tags are scanned, they send an ID number. Scanning devices don’t need a line of sight to detect RFID tags, which are attached or embedded in the tracked product. In this way, users can remotely track and identify shipments and products in many industries including food and agriculture, healthcare, and transport/logistics.

RFID technology is especially proliferating in the supply cold chain, the logistic obstacle course which temperature-sensitive food and life science products travel from the manufacturer to the consumer. Research found that market demand for food safety products in the U.S. is expected to increase 7.3% annually to $4.5 billion in 2016.

The study points to heightening regulatory compliance and industry initiatives as motivations for companies to invest in new food safety technology. Of course, RFID devices are forecast to be among the fastest gains in major food safety product markets as part of a growing industry trend toward supply cold chain transparency and asset tracking.

In addition to use in the supply chain, RFID technology is also being readily adopted in other fields including the entertainment industry, with Disneyland being a successful early adapter. USA Today has reported that the Disneyland Resort has deployed RFID tags to streamline the costume checkout process and to allow effective tracking of costume pieces that could otherwise go missing or damaged. Disney also provides guests with RFID-embedded room keys and wristbands used to open doors, track attendance at safety drills, and to sort photos.

As a more unconventional example, Barcelona’s Baja Beach Club made world news in 2004 when it began offering clients a subdermal microchip which grants access to VIP lounges and automatically runs up their bar tabs by accessing a database when scanned by staff. The chip is contained in a small glass capsule sending out a very low range radio frequency to avoid setting off security systems.

In the near future, RFID devices are predicted to be widely adopted by vendors, hospitals, rescue organizations and in many other areas where real-time data is critical. This is definitely an emerging technology worth watching, with long-term benefits for your business or organization.