Like barcodes only wireless; and they do more

What are NFC and RFID tags?

RFID (radio frequency identification) is a way for data to pass between two items through electromagnetic energy. The reader (often a phone, PDA or fixed device) transmits a charge which energises the tag. Once activated, that tag transmits a short burst of data identifying itself which the reader picks and turns into useful data.

There are different standards, protocols and frequencies. Each has advantages and disadvantages. UHF tags can be read over several hundred meters so are not ideal for secure actions. HF (high frequency) tags can be read over a few centimetres.

NFC or near-field communication is a specific implementation of RFID. It offers reasonable security because the max range is about 10cm but is no good for bulk scanning. It is likely to be NFC in your credit card or entry card to get into the office.

Both systems are harder to copy than a barcode and by transmitting data via radio waves, they have more capacity to exchange data. Another benefit is that they can be hidden, unlike a barcode.

How do these fit with trackingThis?

We sell tags and readers that can give you more options when implementing asset management processes. These could be proof of attendance (by proximity) when recording an inspection, an easier way to start a process (such as an inspection) or automatic detection of assets by a long range reader.

Unlike a barcode, the tags don't have to be visible. This would allow an engineer to hold a phone to the tag (hidden somewhere only they would know) and enter the information into the system. Removing the need for pen and paper entirely. It can also act as proof of attendance so that there is no doubt that the job was done in that place.

Important: This technology does not guarantee read. Multiple tags close together, or extraneous metal work can have a significant effect on the read rate. The dream of everything being in a basket and putting it through the scanner is not yet a reality. If the failure to detect just one item in the basket is an issue, then RFID is unlikely to be the whole solution.

If you are interested in using RFID and/or NFC tags within your business, give us a ring and we will happily discuss the tags we offer and how it works with trackingThis.