5 Trends in RFID Technology

NFC RFID Wearables

While Near Field RFID tags are nothing new, the novel ways in which they are being put to use

are numerous and intriguing. Beyond NFC RFID integration into wearables like exercise trackers, event planners have begun to integrate RFID technology into inexpensive badges and wristbands, allowing visitors to engage with vendors on a deeper, more personal level. For example, visitors can collect content, get rewards, gain entry to attractions, post to social media and even make purchases simply by scanning their RFID tag. Vendors get the benefit of gathering data and intelligence about their customers. And event planners can improve ticketing, credentialing and event flow.

RFID On Merchandise

Chainlink Research reports that more than 8.5 passive RFID tags will be attached to merchandise this year with a cumulative 150 billion integrated by 2020. Beyond the ability to sign up for loyalty programs to retrieve points, coupons and product reviews that will help make their purchasing decisions easier, consumers will have the option to scan RFIDs in-store to retain their “likes” on a wish list for later viewing and/or purchase. If the shopper provides their personal information, retailers can market similar items to them and further engage the shopper at some point in the future.

Host Card Emulation (HCE) Payment Solutions

Although conversion to virtual wallets – smartphone apps that eliminate the need for credit cards or cash – has been promised for years now, adoption has been slow in coming. Because they are easy and familiar, getting people to dump their cash and credit cards is difficult. In addition, with data breaches in the news every week, concerns about hackers gaining access to personal data continue to scare people away from virtual currency, and the final hurdle is Apple’s refusal to adopt NFC technology in their trend-setting iPhone.

But times, and consumer attitudes, are changing. The latest Android phones have found a way to store data not on phones, but in the cloud using Host Card Emulation, or HCE. HCE removes the wireless carrier from the equation and makes it easier for virtual wallet providers to offer their NFC enabled solution. And rumor has it that the Apple iPhone 6, expected to release this fall, will contain an NFC chip which would allow iPhone users to use tap-and-go technology to pay for their purchases. An NFC enabled iPhone would go a long way towards helping consumers to embrace virtual wallet technology.

Printed RFID Technology

Because the price for printed electronics equipment is decreasing and the applications for various ID technologies is increasing, printed RFID technology is expected to grow and make a substantial impact in the RFID marketplace. The rise of 3D printing and the adoption of RFID printed electronics by ink companies make RFID printed technology perfect for assigning objects their digital footprint or printing directly on product packaging.

IoT Applications

As the world becomes more and more connected, companies need information to keep track of their assets and manufacturing processes which creates an opportunity for RFID technology and tagging. At its core, the Internet of Things requires that devices communicate with one another, and RFID tagging aids in this communication by making each object uniquely identifiable -- a mandate for IoT communication. Also, although RFID tags and readers have traditionally operated under low-bandwidth which limits its application, the technology is wireless which expands the arena of devices which can be connected.

Silicon Engines’ Model 13563 NFC/HF RFID Gateway is a versatile platform that provides a portal for smartphones and tablets to interface with a broad range of NFC applications including vending machines, point-of-sale equipment and industrial controls. The Model 13563 reads and writes data to HF RFID tags and cards and can store data. More information about the Model 13563 can be found here.

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