We have seen RFID systems being used in Asset Tracking, Access Control, Monitoring of Inspections, and so on but new innovations like Amazon’s Go retail store concept shows that RFID has many more interesting uses. New ones are being thought up all the time, but here are some of our favourite and most interesting uses for RFID
1 – Amusement parks and Ski lifts
These are using RFID transponders to control access and even to actually initiate the rides. With an RFID ‘ticket’ there is no need to have staff constantly monitoring access, as the doors can only be opened with an activated RFID transponder and the same chip can also be used to trigger the ascent of the lifts.
2 – Car and Bike Rental
Systems like Rental Monitor from Digitalquill are being used for RFID enabled rentals. The renter simply purchases a rental and is issued with a card (or has their existing card topped up, like the Oyster card). Then they can access transport by bringing the card near to a reader without having to be issued with keys. GPS can be used to locate the bike or car when it has been returned (or not!).
3 – Marketing
HF RFID or NFC transponders can be encoded with URLs to give access to ‘Easter Egg’ type content. This is used to promote movies, video games and other products. RFID transponders are so inexpensive they can be given away.
4 – Sports Timing
Accurate timing is a doddle when you stitch RFID transponders into clothing, or attach an RFID tag to the number worn by runners in a marathon. The unique codes allow for every runner’s time to be calculated simultaneously and by using several checkpoints it is even possible to locate them on the course based on which gates they have passed through.
5 – Clothes cleaning
Why would you need to use RFID in cleaning? The fire retardant clothes used by fire personnel have a limited number of wash cycles before the fire protection starts to reduce. RFID readers can be placed at the entrance of the washing machine and RFID Systems can record each wash cycle. The same principle can be used for everything for tracking gas cylinders to managing space suits!
6 – Casino Chips
What better way to prevent fraudulent use of Casino Chips than by embedding unique RFID transponders in each one. This makes every chip unique and makes counterfeiting practically impossible.
7 – Beating Counterfeits of Luxury items
Another use of RFID transponders as an anti-counterfeit measure is seen in some luxury items. Louis Vuitton bags have an RFID transponder attached to prove they are original, and SevenFriday watches also have a unique RFID tag. In fact, the luxury watch industry are developing an RFID system to replace paperwork and to record services, which can have a massive impact on the resale value of such items.
8 – Track Household waste
RFID Bin Tags are used in the waste industry to identify where waste came from – and where it ends up. This has revolutionised the waste collection industry and allowed for much more granular charging models that encourage recycling and help cut costs for businesses.
9 – Rock concerts and Festivals
Festivals like Glastonbury used to suffer from ticket counterfeiting and people gaining access to the perimeter without a ticket. They now use RFID Wrist Bands rather than tickets which are uniquely identifiable, almost impossible to copy, and which can be individually allowed or disallowed access based on software settings. No more need to worry if your name is ‘on the list’!
10 – Cat Doors
Those of us with pets already use RFID without even realising it. Your cat’s ID microchip is an RFID device and can be used to only allow your cat inside your home. You can buy a cat flap with RFID reader that reads the pets micro chip and only unlocks it when it recognises the animal. That is like a version of Digitalquill’s Access Monitor for felines!