RFID technology is considered one of the most important and successful innovations in modern times. It has revolutionized the way products are tracked and managed in factories, retail stores, warehouses, and even homes. But can it become obsolete? The answer is yes – new technology is being developed that could render RFID completely obsolete.
There are two main reasons why RFID may soon become obsolete.
- First, it is expensive to implement and maintain.
- Second, it has significant limitations regarding reading or detecting RFID tags.
The Need for Alternative Technologies
Implementing and maintaining an RFID system can be prohibitive for small- and medium-sized businesses. Typically, companies must purchase hardware such as PDA reader, tags, and antennas; hire IT staff to install the system and train employees to use it; and spend thousands on software and maintenance each year. For many businesses, these costs are too high to justify using RFID.
Drawbacks to using RFID technology
There are also drawbacks to using RFID technology that is often overlooked. Because the wireless signals are weak and omnidirectional, it is difficult to read tags hidden from the reader’s line of sight. Tags can also be damaged if they are too close to a reader or if the signal becomes too strong. This can pose a significant problem in large warehouses with high ceilings or other areas where the tags are difficult to access. In addition, most RFID readers can only transmit data a short distance and cannot send data to more than one reader at a time. Because of these limitations, it can be difficult to keep track of large numbers of tagged objects in a large facility.
New Technology is Revolutionizing Tracking and Management
Many companies have recently focused on developing new technologies to replace RFID systems. Some of these technologies are already in use, while others are still in the testing phase. These new technologies have the potential to provide many of the same benefits as RFID at a lower cost and with fewer limitations.
New Tracking System
One new tracking system that uses magnetic induction was developed at MIT a few years ago. The technology uses a transmitter mounted above a conveyor belt to transmit a magnetic field through the conveyor track. Sensors detect Tags attached to the objects moving along the conveyor at either end of the track. This method provides a greater degree of accuracy than RFID and can be used to track a large number of objects simultaneously. However, the technology is currently only capable of tracking items moving at slow speeds. And it is not suitable for applications that require high-speed sorting or packaging operations.
Commercial Application of Rfid
Another tracking system being developed for commercial applications is Active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). The system consists of tiny Rfid device chips that can be embedded in a wide variety of products. These chips are designed to interact with radio signals broadcast by a wireless receiver.