4 interesting ways RFID can make life easier, safer and a lot more fun!

Looking Through Binoculars

Not Your Father’s RFID

We’re all probably familiar with RFID in a business or industrial setting, but these days it can be found around every corner and under every cactus. Literally. Saguaro National Park in Arizona began chipping the namesake cacti back in 2009 to deter theft. Apparently, the second largest cactus in the world has become a hot commodity on the black market, and park management deployed technology in an effort to combat the biggest threat facing these giant succulents. It seems to be working, too.

Using RFID in theft prevention is a no-brainer for the technology, and in fact has been helping businesses save billions in losses for decades. There are other obvious uses too, like asset management, building access control, and even tracking your luggage when flying. Though they somehow still manage to lose my bag every other trip… I digress. Point is, there are a lot of self-evident applications for RFID that make perfect sense. But just as many “non-traditional” applications exist that run the gamut from “Say What?” to “Why didn’t I think of that!”.

Pouring Beer

Bartender Cosplay

Being served a cold pint or fresh margarita is one of the great joys of going to the bar. A professional delivers a properly mixed or poured adult beverage and it puts a smile on your face every time. Tell me the last time a Mai Tai showed up at your table and you didn’t lick your lips and audibly say “Yummy, yummy, get in my tummy” as you took a drink.

Sometimes though, pouring drinks on your terms is lots of fun and thanks to RFID, you can do just that. Companies like Pour My Beer and their self pour beverage system are fueling the Boozie Buffet trend.

The idea is simple. You wear an RFID wristband that, when scanned, activates the tap and allows you to pour a beer. The ounces poured are tracked to the wristband and calculated for your tab when you leave. From the patron’s POV, they get to pour as much or as little of whatever they want, which is perfect for those that like to try new beers regularly. If you’re a Bud man or the “I only drink Coors” type, you probably won’t find the experience all that great. Otherwise sample away at the self-serve libation station and pay for what you pour on the way out the door!

People Running a Marathon

Run RFID, Run!

As someone that someday will run a full marathon, I’m definitely going to appreciate this one when the time comes. It’s a simple and fun concept that gets everyone involved in your big day. After registering with the service, record and submit some words of encouragement for your marathoner. When they approach one of the many digital screens sprinkled throughout, the RFID tag on their shoe is read and your message is displayed. Pretty cool, right! This is a perfect example of how RFID can be seamlessly integrated into an event without trying too hard and makes it easy for everyone to participate in helping you get across the finishline.

Just think of all the similar possibilities to make things more fun, like having the tv in the lobby that plays an epic birthday song for everyone when they badge in on their birthdays. Terry’s gonna love it. Personally, I’m thinking of all the April Fool’s jokes I can pull off around the office, though I should probably run a couple of them by HR first. Learned that one the hard way.

Red Car on Road

Where the Rubber Meets the RFID

While embedded RFID tags in tires are mostly about inventory management and lifecycle tracking, modern day vehicles are capable of making much more use of the data they produce. For example, working in conjunction with the TPMS to recalibrate based on temperature or making adjustments to the vehicle stability control system based on road conditions.

Michelin says the tire computer can see the condition of each tire, and then use algorithms to predict when the condition of the tires should be checked. I still can’t wrap my head around this one but we’re seeing predictive maintenance pop up all over the place and when it comes to something as important as your tires, it’s a welcome feature.

“We are cooperating purposefully with car manufacturers and developing algorithms that convert the information transmitted by the RFID chip into personalized information about the condition of each tire for the motorist. When we equip all our tires with an RFID chip in the near future, the driver will get important information about each tire in the car on the dashboard display in the same way as fuel volume and outside temperature,” comments Michael Ewert, Director of Global Sales Original Equipment at Michelin.

Michael Ewert, Director of Global Sales Original Equipment at Michelin, says they are purposefully working with vehicle manufacturers to develop algorithms that convert the transmitted information from the RFID chip into personalized information about tire condition for the driver. Soon, when all tires are equipped with an RFID chip, the driver can expect to see important information about each tire on the dashboard, much like the way fuel, temperature and other information is displayed.

Dog Driving Car

Critter Traffic Management

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You haven’t lived until you’ve successfully ejected a nursery of Trash Pandas from your kitchen at 2am on a Tuesday. I realize that is a little too specific, and indeed I have a harrowing story to explain, but it may be some years before I’m ready to relive it…

After the dust from the melee cleared, it was obvious what happened. I forgot to slide the blocker in the doggie door before going to bed. While I’m sure I’ll never make that mistake again, RFID can guarantee it. And that’s the point of RFID, right? Remove the human from the equation and let technology ensure things happen, or don’t, when they’re supposed to, or not.

Utilizing a previously embedded microchip or an RFID collar on your furry friend, smart doors will only open for your animals, ensuring the series of unfortunate events of that fateful Tuesday in 2019 won’t happen again. Now, this is the same principle as using a badge to access a building, but applying it to mundane everyday events opens up the possibilities in our personal lives.

From pets to tires to beer to cheering on our loved ones while they suffer for 26.2 miles, RFID is everywhere. Hopefully these few examples can help get your brain juices flowing and put you on the path to making your work and personal lives easier in ways you hadn’t thought of yet.

Get Started with RFID Today

As you can see, RFID has many uses in today’s world to make things more fun, efficient, and reliable. Locera can help you achieve these goals with a semi or fully automated workflow utilizing a mobile device or Siemens OPC UA RFID Readers. Check it out online @ Locera.io or schedule a demo today!