RFID Pays Its Dues
the Editorial Team | Date:
Jumping Through Hoops
RFID is very convenient but not very secure, cautioned Phil Scarfo, Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Lumidigm. “We now see health care applications where drugs and medications can be tagged with RFID, and access can be enabled and/or monitored with biometrics. Imagine the value proposition of being able to add the ‘who' on top of all of the other elements that are known about these assets.”
In terms of differentiation, the only obvious differences lie in the software interface and look and feel of the products, Lim said. “These, sometimes, are not obvious to end users; we often find out, after extensive testing, that performance varies drastically. With RFID, there is no easy way to test the integration, especially when a proprietary or outdated technology is in place.”
Required technicals kills include understanding of wireless communications and networks, as these products almost always are “collectors” of information and need to send that back to a central place. “Ability to exhaustively test combinations of identity credentials and modals of biometrics is essential,” said Brian Skiba, President of MaxID.
“We're seeing more integrated solutions that tie in with back-office enterprise resource planning solutions,” Rodgers said. “There's a strong push for tighter integration between RFID and physical access systems. There are also packaged solutions that include tags, readers and back-end tracking options.”
The future lies in “total” management, be it home or building automation, said Steve Wang, Assistant VP of Microprogram. “It'd be better to be IT-savvy in order to handle RFID-associated projects properly. There have been talks among certain MNCs about forming an alliance, providing a platform where product guidelines and standards can be dictated. For now, however, no concrete plans have been laid out, and there's still no global standardization for the integration, use and frequency of RFID.”
RFID is already widely used for asset tracking, data collection and access control, the last of which covers both physical and IT domains. Aside from these, RFID is used in e-payment, containment of e-biodata and e-passports, Lim said. “None of these are new, but the technology has progressed drastically, especially with RFID encryption, to prevent crimes such as identity theft, data phishing and more.”
There are some interesting applications beyond access control, Cullis said. One is in waste management. “RFID-enabled processes eliminate the need for manual data entry, providing more accurate billing for commercial customers and better monitoring of subcontractors,” Cullis said. Another interesting application has been realized in the brewing industry, where companies can cut costs and increase competitive advantage by improving supply chain visibility through better asset tracking and lowered theft and misappropriation.
Product Adopted:Wireless Transmission