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| Having throughput issues? A real-time view of how products are flowing physically throughout a facility might provide some excellent insight.
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Technology coming out of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology combined wireless with other data collection capabilities to enable a visual view that researchers call “the social network” at meetings and conferences. It’s an interesting application of RFID-related technology, but as with other innovative uses of RFID, it may also offer some ideas for supply chain and logistics managers.
According to MIT, the technology works like this: At an event, attendees receive badges that combine a wireless radio to collect data regarding proximity to other badges and transmit it to a database, an infrared sensor to gather data about face-to-face interactions among attendees, an “accelerometer” to track motion of the participant, and a microphone to monitor speech patterns. At the event, the data from the infrared sensors and special software produces real-time visualization of the event's social patterns.
MIT researchers Ben Waber and Sandy Pentland are interested in “sociometrics,” an apparently rapidly emerging field in which sensors collect fine-grained data during social interactions and use software to make sense of it. At an event, for example, early evidence shows individuals who see there own social patterns are likely to become more social if they see they are having more limited interactions than they realized. Event planners can gain insight about how to improve the event to drive more socialization or activity across different venues.
(RFID and Automatic Identification Article - Continued Below)