Monday, October 7, 2013

thinking about RFID tags

Zhou (Joe) Ye

Read the article about RFID tags, it occurred to me that this RFID tag was already in use of identifying student’s eligibility of buying discounted train tickets in China. I personally had one such tag attached to my undergraduate student ID.

Now after improvement, it would replace the barcode in supermarket. The most annoying experience in shopping in supermarket is to lift everything from the cart to cashier’s belt. The benefit this technology is going to bring us – the convenience of simply pushing shopping cart across the cashier – is really attractive to lazy bones like me.

Besides compensating laziness, this technology will affect industrial supply chain management. Keeping track of a single product or component no longer needs scanning barcode. Instead a scanner with batch load function will make this much easier, accelerating and smoothing the whole supply network running. We can imagine other potential usages of this technology, like mobile payment device, tracking important person, animal or goods…

But since this technology was well developed decades ago, why is it until recent to be introduced into various areas? Probably there’re not enough economic incentives behind it. Does this implies that it is not technology advancing but economic incentives driving human beings moving forward?

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