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Category: RFID, Automated Data Collection, and Internet of Things

RFID, AIDC and IoT New Round Up for Dec. 11, 2018


Claimed Breakthrough in RTLS System Costs; RFID Just a Bridge Technology for Sensors? Questions to Ask before Getting an RFID Implant


Dec. 11, 2018
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Below are three of the top stories in automated data collection, RFID and the Internet of Things in recent weeks.


Brady Worldwide and Supply Insight Claim RTLS Cost Breakthrough

Labeling and auto ID company Brady Worldwide and RFID solutions provider Supply Insight have just announced a new solution for asset and inventory tracking using Real-Time Locator Systems (RTLS) technology the partners say "breaks existing barriers."

The new solution marries Brady's CenSys IoT reader with Supply Insight's Turnkey Total Tracking (TTT) RTLS solution via instantaneous IoT messaging.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

Questions will remain about whether these substantial implanted chip benefits are worth the privacy, security and other risks.

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The result is what the press release says "is now the industry's most complete and cost-effective RTLS solution for mobile devices, dramatically reducing costs and re-purposing employees and management to productive tasks."

The lower costs change the dynamic, the companies says, in which many companies can't find sufficient ROI from potential RTLS deployments.

The joint solution, combining Brady CenSys and mobile BYOD readers, plus an app, a mobile device, tags, an AWS secure portal and an intelligence dashboard, is delivered in what the companies say is a turnkey package for under $5,000."

In the press release, a Brady executive says that "Requiring only power and Wi-Fi connection, CenSys [reader] offers both great performance and value at the sub-$1,000 price point and is uniquely simple to install and configure."

"A demonstrable quick ROI for any size business has finally been achieved for an RFID tracking RTLS system," said Linda Thomas, Supply Insight's owner and co-founder. "By integrating cycle counts from BYOD readers with instant data from the world's leading IoT fixed reader, the Turnkey Total Tracking solution brings to RFID tracking the simplicity of a cable box set-up, and barcode affordability."

RFID may be Stop-Gap Technology on Road to Smart Tires

Those in the tire industry have struggled for almost three decades on how to use auto ID – from external bar codes to more recently RFID tags embedded on the tire itself.

Now, one industry expert says while RFID adds some value, sensors to create "smart tires" is where we're headed, interesting enough on its own but perhaps illustrative of developments that will be seen in many areas beyond tires.

As summarized in Rubber & Plastics News, Andreas Puerschel, key development engineer of original equipment development at BMW, said in an industry conference presentation that "We have QR codes, data-matrix codes, RFID, etc. - a mixture of functionalities. For sure, not all will survive because they are not giving enough value for the costs involved."

RFID tags as the most advanced of these auto ID techniques, given its ability store data and to rewrite information, something bar codes can't do.

"But RFID itself cannot work "smart'," said Puerschel. "It can store data, it can save data, you can rewrite it, but it cannot work as a (smart) sensor."

RFID could be a kind of bridge until smart sensors arrive on the market, Puerschel said, at which point there will not be a need for RFID in tires.

"The customer will not pay extra money for it," he noted.

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Puerschel believes smart tire sensors are "the only end-solution, and will become mandatory as we continue toward autonomous driving. From that perspective, RFID is a "stop-gap solution" just used for tracking individual tires.

He also said that smart tires will be required to monitor driving situations and check what is really happening compared to what the car expects. For example, Puerschel said that if a car is overloaded, a smart device could tell drivers to inflate tires or identify a mismatch in loading affecting the balance of the vehicle.

"As soon as the ICU analyzes this data, it could also change the activity of the braking, steering or distance-control systems, for instance if the vehicle is heavier and so has a longer braking distance," he explained.

Soon, even our tires will be smarter than humans

Considering an RFID Implant? Questions to Ponder

SCDigest has reported a number of times on the small but growing numbers of people having RFID chips or similar technologies implanted in their bodies, generally in the hand.

With that "bio-hacking," a person can do things like turn on a computer, open a garage door, access the office copy machine, pay for lunch or in Sweden a train ride and more with literally the wave of a hand.

But many have concerns relative to privacy and control after humans receive implants. So SCDigest liked this list of questions to ask yourself before proceeding with an implant, as recently offered by consultant Dan Lohrmann, writing on the Government Technology web site.

Those questions are:

• What are the benefits of implanting the chip(s)?
• Is implanting chips physically and emotionally safe?
• Who owns the data on the chip?
• Who has access to the data — and when?
• Do the chips communicate, somehow, with outside networks?
• How are chips updated when flaws are found?
• Can the chips be hacked? Assuming yes, what security is in place to stop unauthorized access to data and manipulation of data.
• Do religious beliefs forbid the practice?
• Is implanting the microchip truly voluntary? Will it still be voluntary tomorrow or in 10 or 20 years?
• Is the practice medically necessary?
• Are incentives offered to those who participate?
• Are penalties coming for those who don't participate?
• Will being chipped start as an exception and become the rule?
• Will ethical and moral processes and procedures be breached by hackers? (No way to stop the bad actors once you begin.)
• What laws are put in place on this implanted chip topic?
• What company policies are affected?

With expected rapid growth in those getting implants, "Questions will remain about whether these substantial implanted chip benefits are worth the privacy, security and other risks," Lohrmann concludes. "Expect related chip implant questions (in various forms) to become a top technology, privacy and security concern in the 2020s."

Any reaction to the stories in this week' roundup? ? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.


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