The Internet of Things – RFID Tech
More than just a Buzzword
The Internet of Things is far more than a buzzword, but what does the term even mean? In the not so distant future, many of life’s everyday objects will be connected to the internet. It will work mainly through RFID technology, also known as, radio frequency identification which uses radio waves to send information to RFID readers that can then be connected to the internet. Sound intense? RFID is already used in Sparky or Fluffy’s microchip, so that’s not even the best part. Sensors embedded in devices, like smartphones will allow machines to talk to each other. You are probably thinking, “well, Siri can already talk back to me, so why is the Internet of Things such a buzz?”
The Physical World- An Information System
The little sensors that are being embedded in objects are gathering volumes of data that are sent straight to computers for analysis. Ok that’s not so exciting, but some of these physical information systems are sending gobs of data without human intervention. How did the Internet get the majority of its information in the first place? Humans. People aren’t capable of gathering all the data in the world. We don’t have the attention, accuracy or near enough time. So if a computer could gather information about actual things without any help from us, what could this do for the world, businesses, or probably your biggest concern- you?
What can “things” do for you?
We’ve seen the movies with the smart houses, self-driving cars and holograms. This will be the norm. You’re appliances will “talk” to each other- your alarm clock just went off, time to start the shower. Your refrigerator could even order your groceries! We’ve all seen Will Smith in the self-driving car in I, Robot; while you won’t be racing around trying to prove robots are trying to take over the city, you will able to catch up on emails and phone calls while your gets you to your destination. Cars could even track arrival time and send updates to your work calendar.
RFID Tags are Good for Business
What can your business do with these little RFID tags? Tag your assets and collect that data! If you tag your business assets, here are a few of the many things an RFID can do:
-Keep detailed inventory by knowing which products are in surplus or out of stock in real time. Finding your last product in stock can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. RFID tags eliminate that wasted time.
-Track how and where your products are being used. This will give your marketing team a heads for your next set of advertisements.
-Attach a downloadable document to your product such as detailed product information, assembly instructions, etc.
-Keep track of damaged items, returns and most importantly theft. No need for the clunky security tags that either get ripped off and left behind or explode ink on all your other merchandise.
-Connect all your devices and valuable items to a network to manage your assets data through a data generation records.
-Never make employees work a Saturday for inventory again. No more shelling out time a half for your workers that don’t want to spend their Saturday counting boxes or scanning labels; you’ve got a computer that does it for you now, and you don’t have to pay a computer.
The best part about RFID technology is it could be applied to just about any industry! From healthcare to retail and industrial to agricultural, the possibilities are endless.
Look out marketers, what are you going to do with all this new data! Data can be highly detailed on a consumer’s demographic and location. Imagine how you could advertise if you knew exactly who was using your product and where they were. No more countless hours of gathering data to determine who your target market is and how people are using your product. If computers knew everything there was to know about things- you will be able to track and count everything- down to the last bottle of Dr. Pepper. This will reduce waste, loss and cost. Going Green is big in business right now. Businesses want to do more with less. With the data from the Internet of Things, the ultimate going green status can be achieved. Smarter business decisions can be made and value will be attained.
This didn’t even scratch the surface behind the idea and reality of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is promised to be the biggest technological revolution is the Internet. It’s predicted that 100 billion “things” will be connected to the internet by 2020- that’s only 7 years away. Watch out world.