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NASA uses RFID Systems

Category: RFID Tags — Posted by brittanyk - 8:07 pm

NASA has recently found use in RFID readers. According to RFID news, they have installed systems at Langley Research Center in Virginia, designed and deployed by DataSpan Inc.

This will be used for inventory of “critical data center assets like servers, switches, racks, and other associated equipment”. This will also help manage the movement of laboratory and testing equipment.

More specifically and more recently, the NASA’s Johnson Space Center announced it’s purchase of RFID readers for International Space Station. The ACC570 handheld was selected according to spaceref.com. “Other items that will be tagged include astronauts and crew’s personal items, office supplies, food packages and medical supplies.”

Now that NASA has adapted to RFID, what’s next?

RFID Tags Track Recycling Carts

Category: RFID Tags — Posted by brittanyk - 8:03 pm

According to the Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana is having their neighborhoods use large recycling carts that are fitted with RFID tags, which will allow the city to track the carts location and use.

“City officials said that the information it collects from the recycling carts will be used only to track the city’s cart inventory and target education,” according to Journal Gazette. “It will be nearly identical to the garbage carts but will have a different colored lid.”

This will be a great investment since the garbage carts, that are currently being used, have lost the city 2,700 carts per year! With the RFID tags, they will be able to track where each cart should be and they only cost 90 cents each. However, the tags can only be read from a close range on an RFID reader.

Some cities have already installed RFID tags in its recycling bins, Cleveland, Ohio and Ann Arbor, Michigan. However, both of these cities are taking a different approach.

Cleveland residents could be fined up to $100 if they do not dispose of their trash properly. Ann Arbor is measuring how much is being recycled and participants are rewarded with discounts to businesses.

Do you think this is something your community will invest in?

Will recycling be required in five years?

Add RFID in Your Workout

Category: RFID Tags — Posted by brittanyk - 8:00 pm

In an article I recently read, Curves International, which is based in Waco, Texas, has over 10,000 clubs. In 2007, the company introduced CurvesSmart, which is an RFID-based reader. This is designed to provide members with personal and immediate feedback during their training.

To activate the system, the member wears an RFID-embedded wristband and on each piece of equipment a RFID interrogator is attached. The wristbands have passive RFID tags, each costing $2.54.

Each wristband contains the member’s information from a fitness test that is required upon receiving the device. This helps the CurvesSmart system target the woman’s workout for her particular body. Finally, at the end of the workout, she then can measure her results and compare it to the previous workout.

Wouldn’t it be great to see after every workout that you are a step closer to accomplishing your goals?

With this RFID tag it seems that you are able to see your progress.

Do you think this could be implemented at your gym?

Would you use it?

RFID Tracks Pain

Category: RFID Tags — Posted by brittanyk - 7:57 pm

Meridian Health operates five New Jersey hospitals, and has helped develop an active RFID tag that logs a patient’s pain at home and records the effectiveness of pain medications he or she takes, according to a recent article on RFIDJournal.com.

How convenient would it be to have something that logs your pain and is able to tell which medications are more effective for your pain and which one’s are not?

This product is known as, Impak Health Journal for Pain, and is being tested by 22 patients. They’re using an “RFID-enabled cardboard foldout”; patients answer the questions that are then placed on an RFID reader.

This is an excellent way to reach out to patients while they are at home instead of actually coming to the hospital, daily. I think this is an excellent way to improve medications and better a patients needs.

Their plan for the future is to offer the journal to test blood for sugar or cholesterol levels and then make it available to hospital’s servers through an NFC reader.

In today’s society, everyone seems to be “busy”. With this advance technology, this device makes it capable for patients to be at home, and doctors to be at the hospital, but they can still monitor their patients.

How RFID Readers and Antennas Affect the Read Range

Category: passive rfid reader — Tags: — Posted by brittanyk - 2:53 pm

As I mentioned in my previous blog about the million dollar question, “How far will it read?”, two of the factors are the reader and antennas (and remember we are discussing passive RFID).

Passive UHF RFID readers can affect the read range depending on the manufacturer and the power level.  In the US, FCC regulations cap the output power at 4 watts, whereas in Europe it is only 1 watt.  There are studies available for purchase that detail the testing results of readers and antennas in a controlled, RF-friendly environment.  These are appropriate for general guidelines, but each environment is different and a reader that did not test at #1 in the study may be the better one in your environment.

Passive UHF RFID antennas can also affect the read range depending on the manufacturer, the type of polarization and the gain.  Antennas can be either linearly polarized or circularly polarized.  When the direction of the electric field is in one plane, it is called “linear polarization”.  When the direction of the electric field is rotated around the axis of propagation, it is called “circular polarization”.  Linear polarized antennas will provide a longer read range as compared to circular.  Also, an improvement in antenna gain is achieved by focusing the radiated RF into narrower patterns for the purpose of increasing the power in a specific direction.  In general, the higher the gain the longer the read range.
Polarization of a Linear AntennaPolarization of a Circular Antenna

My next post will cover how RFID tags affect the read range.