Technology continues to advance quickly in today’s modern age, and one area that has seen significant innovations and widespread adoption is RFID, short for radio frequency identification. This technology leverages the electromagnetic fields around us to quickly identify and track the compatible tags that can be attached to all sorts of objects, from large industrial machinery to small pieces of jewellery. And while RFID is typically associated with tracking assets in industries like retail and manufacturing, it is increasingly finding use in many other applications we already encounter in daily life, as discussed below.
1. Home automation
RFID now plays a big role in the rising popularity of modern “smart homes”. For example, many homeowners use RFID tags to control things like the lighting and temperature in their houses. This capability extends to automating the home’s doors, gadgets, and other appliances.
This home automation provides many benefits, mainly increased energy efficiency and more pleasant living space. RFID tags are also in various home security solutions to monitor for intruders and keep tabs on anyone who might show up at the front door, such as delivery personnel or guests.
All in all, home automation with RFID makes the home safer and a more convenient place to live in.
2. Contactless payment
Contactless payment steadily grew in popularity before the pandemic and became the go-to option for many people during and after those uncertain times. Today, it has become the standard for many financial institutions to work with RFID companies in making their RFID-enabled cards, which can then conduct secure and contactless payments in retail stores.
Additionally, some cities have adopted wearable payment wristbands that passengers can use to pay for public transit. An example is in London, where riders can use their contactless debit or credit cards to pay for fares on the city’s rail, bus, and tube systems.
3. Event management
Events big and small now commonly use disposable RFID wristbands to manage and track attendees. For example, RFID technology is commonly used to improve large sports events. The data they provide can be used for various applications, such as security, event planning, and crowd size monitoring, to ensure the event proceeds without a hitch. Apart from overseeing guests, RFID tags for inventory can also help control supplies during the event, including food and refreshments, merchandise, tents, portable toilets, and other assets.
4. Access control
Organisations worldwide leverage RFID technology to manage security and access control to their facilities’ high-security areas. As such, some office buildings may have RFID-enabled ID cards for each employee that also serves as their key to the spaces they are permitted to enter. This way of using RFID helps significantly in improving physical security and preventing unauthorised access.
Tags for access control can also be used to track people and assets allowed entry into secure areas and closely monitor their movements. Such information is critical in identifying unauthorised access and handling security breaches well before they occur.
5. Animal tracking
RFID in animal tracking is generally used in regulating wildlife populations, monitoring endangered animals, and tracking cattle movement in farms. However, this RFID tracking can also be found in closer and more relevant applications, such as in pet collars. RFID chips can be embedded into dog tags and similar identifiers and are a more non-intrusive way compared to microchipping.
New applications are continuously being developed that leverage RFID, which means the technology will become much more commonplace in our daily routines over time. Moreover, RFID tags could one day be used to trace and monitor some of our activities to increase efficiency, boost production, improve well-being and promote public security. RFID technology certainly has a lot to offer, which means it could very well have a big impact on our daily life down the line.