Monday, October 29, 2012

Novel real world applications of RFID.

Shanghai uses RFID to check illegal cabs:

Shanghai has started using RFID tags to curb illegal cabs in the city to protect both the passengers and the cab drivers.Authorities have put an electronic RFID enabled license on every one of the 50,000 cabs in the city.This tag will contain all the information about the vehicle which includes the licence plate number,engine number,color and other details.
Authorities can scan these tags using handheld scanners thereby identifying if the cab is legal or not.Since the introduction of the system,many counterfeit cabs have been detained by authorities.

RFID for border security:

Thousands of people cross borders between states everyday.There are long wait times at various entry points at borders.To reduce inconvenience to frequent travelers various governments have introduced smart identity cards.After a one-time background check the approved applicants are provided with a RFID enabled photo-ID.This RFID tag which contains all the information of the traveler is scanned by security personnel who verify the identity of the travelers before letting them proceed.This saves time as it eliminates the background check and verification of paperwork.
A similar system is also used by border patrol which involves combining the windshield RFID tags with Licence Plate Recognition to track and control import-export vehicles,immigrants and also for border security.

RFID in healthcare:

RFID Infant Security tag.
Image source :Accutech
RFID technology allows real time tracking people and equipment which is one of the reasons it is important in the field of healthcare.It provides quick and accurate access to data,equipment and drugs in an healthcare system.This leads to a more efficient workforce in the system as the resources are systematically managed in real time.It can prevent medical mistakes like errors in patient identification,mix-up of infants,surgical instruments left behind after surgery.It can also prevent theft of equipment from the hospital which results in huge losses.It can curb counterfeit drugs thereby preventing losses to the pharmaceutical industry.

Smart Refrigerators:

Image source:LG Electronics
RFID enabled Smart Refrigerators are personal refrigerators with an integrated automated inventory management system allowing the management of refrigerated stock in real time.It can notify users of  available stock,expiration dates,current temperature,etc.It can also prompt the shopping list via text messages notifying items that need to be replenished.The refrigerator can also be linked to the wireless network and can be remotely accessed.

Navigation for the blind using RFID:

One of the new innovations in this field is the development of navigation system for the visually-impaired.Though GPS navigation is available,it is limited to outdoor navigation.As passive tags do not require any power they can be embedded into any object with ease without any energy source.This system consists of the tags and an handheld reader.Different tags transmit different signals which is read and decoded by the reader and a suitable audible message in the desired language is delivered to the user.
For more info visit the Talking Tags project page

For information on the technology visit-What is Radio Frequency Identification

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