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RFID technology is rapidly becoming a staple in the consumer industry

By Dr. Robert L. Gordon | 01/29/2017 | 11:03 AM

Guest Post by Kandis Wyatt, Associate Professor at American Public University

RFID technology is currently utilized at many Disney Theme Parks, and yes, some call it magic, but it is RFID technology. The customer is given a wristband that is read when you pass by a RFID reader. Using the wristband, you can pre-order food and have it delivered directly to your table, without standing in line. This technology transmits up to 40 feet, so your preferences are read by readers as you walk into a store, restaurant, or hotel. 

Here’s another way to think about RFID technology. Think about never waiting in line to check out. Can a cashier-free society become a reality? Amazon and its new Amazon Go Pilot Store offers this vision of a new reality. Customers download an app and using RFID technology, all the products in your shopping cart are scanned, your total is calculated, and your credit card is charged (Dignan, 2016). Think about how much time you would save if you did not have to wait in line, deal with cashiers, and swipe a credit card. How can this technology be expanded to the retail industry?

Imagine RFID technology in the automobile industry. RFID technology can be embedded in tires, car batteries, and engines. Using a standard RFID reader, you can perform a diagnostic check of your vehicle in record time, regardless of the manufacturer. No need to go to the car dealership and wait in line. Imagine the freedom of knowing when it is time to replace tires, get a tune-up, or replace major parts of your vehicle? A simple RFID reader can provide you with a wealth of information. There is currently a push to create a global standard for the automobile industry for RFID technology.

If you have ever driven on a major interstate highway in the United States, chances are you have paid money to drive on a toll road. These roads charge vehicles in exchange for ‘supposedly’ faster, smoother rides. Many toll plazas are using RFID technology to read a device in the car and automatically charge the customer. This RFID use saves time because the vehicle does not have to stop. Also, this cuts down on the number of toll plaza employees needed at each station. The technology is advancing more, and some brand-new cars already have the RFID technology built into their operating systems (Baars et al, 2015). The tags can be recharged depending on the use.

RFID technology has also expanded into the airline industry. Imagine having a RFID reader in your checked luggage? You could track the whereabouts of your bag always via the airline’s RFID reader system. Also, this new technology may alleviate the need for a paper ticket to track your checked luggage. Likewise, this technology can be expanded to paper tickets in the future. Instead of having to download a special application (app) for every airline you choose to travel, simply having a RFID reader installed can identify you and decrease your time at the TSA checkpoint. No need for TSA Pre-Check! This technology is currently being tested in New Delhi (TNN, 2015).

RFID technology is rapidly advancing, and becoming a staple in our everyday lives.

Baars, H., Kemper, H.. Lasi, H., and Siegel, M. (2015). Combining RFID technology and business intelligence for supply chain optimization scenarios for retail logistics. Proceedings of the 41st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2008. ISBN ISSN:1530-1605 , 0-7695-3075-8.

Dignan, L. (2016). Amazon Go: here are the takeaways business tech execs need to know. ZDNet. Retrieved from: http://www.zdnet.com/article/amazon-go-here-are-the-takeaways-business-tech-execs-need-to-know/

Hedgepeth, W. (2007). RFID Metrics: Decision Making Tools for Today's Supply Chains. Taylor and Friends Group.

TNN, Economic Times (2015). Get ready for tagless travel as airports planning to phase out cabin baggage tags . Retrieved from: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55889765.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst



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About Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is program director of the Reverse Logistics department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over twenty-five years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. He holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA. Dr. Gordon has spent more than 14 years teaching reverse logistics, transportation, project management, and human resources. He has published articles on reverse logistics; supply chain management; project management; human resources; education, and complexity. He has also published four books on Reverse Logistics Management; Complexity and Project Management; Virtual Project Management Organizations, and Successful Program Management..

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