Radio Frequency Identification, more commonly known as RFID has been becoming more and more popular with time. These systems have brought about an accelerated growth of productivity and efficiency in a variety of industries throughout the supply chain. Therefore, today we will discuss the future of RFID technology, along with the upcoming trends and advancements.
So, let’s get right to it.
A Brief on RFID Technology & Its Applications
RFID is a type of automated asset identification & data collection technology, that utilizes radio signals to transmit and receive data. This technology requires three basic components to function, namely – Tags, Readers, and Antennas. The reader and the antennas form the receiving/tracking end of the system. Whilst the tags stick onto the assets & act as the tracker end of the system.
There are two primary classifications of these systems, namely – Passive, and Active. Active tags have an internal power supply that allows them to broadcast strong signals to the reader. On the other hand, passive tags use signal backscattering & electromagnetic induction to work.
Latest & Upcoming RFID Technology Advancements
Let’s discuss some of the latest and upcoming technological innovation in these systems.
(A). Telemetry Integration
With further development and miniaturization of technology, we have been able to create small and sensitive telemetry sensors that can fit on RFID tags. These sensors can accurately record different information like temperature, moisture, movement, etc. This allows a clearer and more precise picture of the condition of the assets throughout their storage life.
(B). Chip-Less Tag Technology
The second and one of the most interesting advancements in Rf technology is the development of chipless tags. As you probably know, tags require a microchip to store information that is needed to transmit. However, in newer tags, we are trying to use conductive ink that can arrange ferromagnetic particles to store information and act as a transponder.
(C). Cloud Based Data Storage
RF systems work by transfer of data from tags to readers, however, that makes the data only accessible through that particular reader. The data then has to be fed into a computer to go into the database. However, with the help of cloud integration, these systems can identify, record and send data to cloud storage, making it easily accessible.
(D). Flexible Printing
When you hear the word tag, perhaps flexibility is not the first thing on your mind. However, with time, we have developed thinner and thinner inlays and substrate structures. Allowing manufacturers to develop unbelievably flexible RFID tags that can easily mount on curved and irregular surfaces.
(E). IoT Integration
The Internet of Things may be one of the greatest inventions of the past two-and-a-half decades. By connecting different classes and types of technology through the use of the world wide web, we have created a system of communication that allows vast leaps in technological integration and streamlined operations. In the case of RF systems, IoT allows users to overcome the biggest shortcoming of these systems, I.e., operational range. A typical tag has a maximum range of 100 meters, at most with the use of multiple readers, throughout a single premise. However, with the help of IoT, users can connect various small-scale RF systems through the internet, and conduct identification & tracking operations through a centralized location.
Future Trends Predictions for RFID Applications
By now I'm sure you are getting excited about all the amazing technological advancements we have made and are about to make in the RFID sector. However, another interesting and noteworthy factor to remember is the upcoming applications that we can enjoy with these advancements.
(A). Monitoring Perishable Assets
As mentioned above, we are developing accurate telemetry sensors that allow us to capture important data like temperature, moisture, etc. These sensors can be used in industries where we have to carefully monitor the storage of perishable items, like medical supplies, food items, etc. With the help of these newer tags, users can check how an item was stored, and if it’s even viable for use. This allows improvement in storage facilities and prevents expensive & reputation damaging recalls.
(B). RFID for Home Use
Another exciting application, that we all might be enjoying very soon, is the availability of RF technology for personal use. From access control for main doors to smart home innovations, we can use RFID technology for all of it. This is possible due to development making these systems simpler to use and more affordable.
(C). Widespread Employee Tracking
Although many businesses use RFID for tracking the movement of employees in & out of the premises using RFID technology, most still don’t have good visibility inside the workspace. However, with the help of carefully tuned and strategically placed RF systems, businesses can create an accurate & real-time employee tracking system. This system can also use customized authorization levels, to restrict access to certain areas, and track the movement of employees in different areas, throughout the day.
Like any piece of technology that is constantly developed & researched, RFID too is getting better and better as time passes. Whether it is the size of the components, the range, battery life, and additional functions, we are stepping into a new era of AIDC technologies.
We are integrating this simple yet effective technology, with other sophisticated machinery and significantly improving its functions. In addition, we are also making them cheaper and affordable, so that more businesses or even people can use them personally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is RFID an emerging technology?
Although RFID has existed for decades, with constant advancement and development in technologies, RFID is a constantly emerging and improving technology.
Q2. How can RFID be improved?
We are currently in the process of improving Rf technology. We are adding and integrating them with sensors, better flexibility, material quality, etc., making RFID much more reliable and effective than it used to be.
Q3. What technology would replace RFID in the future?
Most probably, a subsidiary of RF technology, known as BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) will replace RFID in the future.