RFID (Radio-frequency identification) has kept making substantial performance shifts across supply chains in various industries since its first commercial use as a security tag in 1966. RFID tags, unlike barcodes, may be read from anywhere within their electromagnetic field range and can read several tags at once. This increases read rates and dramatically reduces human intervention, making them error-free. RFID tech is now being deployed in warehouses, distribution centers, power plants, retail centers, among others. From the oceans to the rainforests, and even to the space – RFID’s flexibility and dependability have been adding utility almost everywhere.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technique that employs radio waves to identify tagged objects passively. RFID is utilized in various commercial and industrial applications, from tracking things across a supply chain to monitoring items checked out of a library.
Furthermore, RFID is extremely stable and unaffected by transportation, tearing, and other RFID-related issues.
We’ve put up a list of six fascinating facts regarding RFID to get you going.
#1 RFID technology is being used to protect the environment, including tracking the worldwide bee population and monitoring endangered wildlife
RFID tags are not only used to track merchandise, but they also aid in the conservation of the environment. Researchers use these tags to monitor animals in the open, enhancing conservation efforts for endangered species by reducing poaching and providing a relatively low-cost tracking of animals.
Actual observations or video footage of the social activities of bees were the most common methods for studying bee behavior until the early 2000s. RFID technology has indeed proved a boon for bee monitoring. It is being used to track the inbound and outward movements of bees from the nest. Not only that, the bees can be individually recognized due to these unique tags. These tags help collect a huge array of data used to identify the reasons for the declining bee population.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has also employed RFID technology to track the Amazon Rainforest’s wild white-lipped peccary. This pig-like species can be tough to monitor in the dense Amazon. Here RFID tags come to the rescue of experts to track and comprehend their activities.
#2 NASA is developing an RFID program to improve space missions
REALM (RFID Enabled Autonomous Logistics Management), a NASA RFID research project, was initially used on the International Space Station (ISS) in early 2017 to optimize inventory management in flight applications. Because NASA’s missions are frequently extensive in duration, ensuring that missions contain the appropriate equipment is critical.
The space station has 4,000 cubic feet of space and around 100,000 items onboard. Earlier, Astronauts would take more than 30 minutes to find items. NASA has observed increased item visibility and operational awareness with the RFID project in place. Objects that couldn’t be searched manually can now be located more quickly and reliably.
#3 Passive RFID tags can be read from almost 300 ft away
The read range of an RFID tag indicates the distance from which it may be read. The read range of battery-powered tags is typically 30 feet. Usually, active RFID tags have a reading range of over 300 feet. These active tags use a power source to broadcast a signal to an interrogator instead of reflecting energy from the reader.
But recently, a passive UHF tag by Mojix’s STAR system has been developed, which can be read from a distance of more than 300 feet. The UHF tag uses highly sensitive phased array antennas and e-nodes to energize the tag from a closer distance.
#4 RFID technology might be integral to developing Driverless cars
During the next 50 years, a combination of RFID monitoring tags, an AI Network, and embedded sensors will significantly alter the planet’s transportation networks to lower the ever-increasing congestion and pollution problems, as per scientists. RFID will be used along with GPS technology and AI to develop intelligent infrastructure in the future.
RFID tags will be implanted in vehicles and used to communicate with the RFID reader and control the autonomous mobility car. The concept mobile vehicle or ‘driverless cars’ will receive moving control commands from the RFID tags and perform appropriate actions after storing them in the RFID tags and placing them on the roads.
In the future, these automobiles could be used to further supplement industrial automation, products transportation, unmanned medical nursing, and data transmission, among other applications.
#5 The Vatican has been using RFID to keep track of more than 2 million ancient manuscripts in the Vatican Library.
The Vatican Library in Rome, which houses approximately two million books, manuscripts, and other artifacts, has begun using RFID technology to identify and evaluate a significant portion of its vast collection. More than 50,000 of the 120,000 volumes in the Vatican Library’s public reading rooms have been tagged by systems integrator Seret s.r.l. to date.
Previously, the library had to close down for a month each year to verify its contents, with administrators physically evaluating what was found on each rack against the library’s database. Once the RFID project is completed, the Vatican expects inventory inspection to be completed in only half a day. The library uses RFID tech to locate misplaced books faster, maximize floor space with commonly asked items, and optimize inventory management processes.
#6 RFID as an IoT enabler
RFID technology also plays an essential role in the Internet of Things (loT). The Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of connected devices used to exchange information on the internet. These devices are equipped with components that enable them to gather data, interact, and be controlled remotely.
RFID tags, antennae, and readers, together with cameras, GPS, and smart sensors, are used in the IoT to find and identify items. The most common RFID-enabled IoT applications. The RFID applications in the Internet of Things are most common in transportation, retail, healthcare, industrial use, and smart home applications.
RFID has already proven to be a real game-changer in various fields. The technology of tagging objects through radio waves has come a long way by saving effort and maximizing efficiency. RFID’s future brightens as more sectors and businesses indulge in the technology. As a result, RFID will become more cost-effective than ever when tackling real-world business problems.
At Barcode India, we use a combination of hardware and software RFID solutions to help organizations across diverse sectors, including automotive, pharma, FMCG, consumer durables, oil, and gas, among others. Barcode’s RFID-powered solutions offer superior security and monitoring systems to help reduce counterfeit goods from entering the value chain.