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3 Jul

RFID Blocking Wallet

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While Avid Software Solutions evangelizes RFID for the various benefits it offers, we are also aware of the possible misuse of this technology. It’s not okay if the technological aspect of any product is hugely advanced, or the customer-benefit highly pronounced – for all this experience can vapourize into thin air if adequate security isn’t provided.

While RFID itself is used for secure-access, considering its use in credit cards (where money is involved) it wouldn’t be untimely to shield oneself against credit card data-theft which can lead to disastrous consequences.

No, I am not talking of some possibility in remote future. The concern is as immediate as one can get. While even snatching your wallet has plenty of problems for the wrong-doer, this new kind of crime would be left undetected for a while.

The universal use of RFID is undeniable – Credit card companies and governments are embedding RFID chips in your cards and identification. This happens sometimes without your knowledge. The invisible radio waves being emitted by your credit card in your wallet can be picked up by a well-equipped laptop, recorded and soon duplicated into a cloned card.

Lo and behold, he can use your credit card and shop on your account. Or using some imagination, Hollywood-style, your corporate ID card is cloned and another person accesses your office’s confidential data.

Many smart marketers have envisaged such scenario and have come up with a highly innovative technique. Instead of using some foil or blocker for your pants, they have come up with a RFID Blocking Wallet. This wallet insulates & isolates the inner RFID chips and blocks all waves.

Now we can prevent electronic pickpocketing by using RFID blocking wallets, sleeves and badge holders. Such wallets prevent electronic pickpocketing, identity theft, and payment fraud by blocking the personal information being broadcast by radio waves from your credit cards, passports, and other ID cards.

We should be alert for while the latest track and trace technologies have improved our efficiency, they could be easily misused by fraudsters.

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16 May

RFID Library Management Solution

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Though educational institutes are equipped with libraries, most function in the traditional book-keeping system. With expenses of quality books increasing, the library management team is compelled to provide a better security system that efficiently manages library’s activities and contains the possibility of theft effectively.

Using RFID technology, the infrastructure of the library together with its books can be protected from misuse, damage and theft. Such a powerful system itself acts as a strong deterrent against such activities.

RFID tags with memory are embedded to the books and powerful RFID Readers are placed at the doorway of the library. The tag contains related information on book and associates it with the student has taken it along with date & time.

The association is done manually at reception if only books are RFID tagged. But, this is a huge improvement from typing the details painstaking into the computer. All the operator at reception needs to do is to let the RFID Reader read the tagged book and associate it with the student.

But as focus on infrastructure makes more sense in branding of these educational institutes which would like to project a highly sophisticated image we can look forward to more automation. We are witnessing increased use of RFID in student ID cards as it facilitates automatic attendance recording and provides more authenticity.

Integrating the RFID based ID Card with Library Management System leads to a more sophisticated system. The student can simply take a book with him and move out of the library without any human intervention. The RFID Reader strategically placed at the doorway would read the ID Card and tagged book and link them together automatically along with date and time of taking.

Thus, without human involvement a student can enter the library and can leave along with his book without having to undergo any formal procedures. And the process is foolproof which improves accountability as it minimizes shortcomings resulting from manual input.

Avid Software Solutions has implemented Track and Trace Solutions to diverse requirements and our experience is handy in providing you a comprehensive solution that meets all needs – software development, hardware deployment and solution implementation. Alongside we also help in integrating legacy systems which results in use of existing data and proper migration to new system.

Avid’s Library Management System is a product of our commitment to deliver highly innovative Track and Trace Solutions that improvise automatic identification, authentication and data-capture.

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9 May

RFID vs. Barcode: Comparison

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As a company providing track and trace solutions, we often encounter our clients confusing between RFID and Barcode Solutions. Though both are similar technologies, their sophistication differs. And so does their use.

Let us briefly compare these technologies:

RFID

Barcode

Rate of Reading Multiple tags can be read simultaneously Can be read one at a time only.
Line of Sight As long as items are in read range, this is not required Required, also the items need to be oriented well to be read.
Human Involvement Automated system. Least involvement Requires large number of humans to manually scan each tag.
Read/ Write Besides reading, can write info on the chip and modify it. Only reading enabled.
Durability Can be internally placed, and weather resistant tags can be made Delicate. Small damage could deactivate it
Security Hard to duplicate. Data is protected by encryption, password or can be deleted permanently. Easier to reproduce.
Event Trigger Capable of triggering events automatically upon reception of signal. Not possible.

 

One can observe that technologically, RFID is superior. However, that shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that RFID is better than Barcode in all business circumstances.

In fact, Avid Software Solutions studies the exact requirement of clients and after analyzing them only, it recommends either of the technologies.

For small retailers or those with limited budget, barcode functions equally well. Certain businesses are low-scale but labour intensive. Such businesses could employ their existing staff’s skills in manually scanning items.

RFID though superior isn’t required in all circumstances. Just like you don’t need a helicopter to reach your office few miles away! So depending your specific requirements, a Barcode Solution is effective especially when there are budgetary concerns.

 

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3 May

Store Management through RFID Solution

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In manufacturing units it’s common to see workers using specialized tools and equipments to perform their daily responsibilities. However, as the tools & equipment are getting costlier their management poses a serious concern to the company.

Each worker collects his tools from store to start working and deposits them back to the store while leaving for the day. Misplacement, theft, damage and a host of other concerns make it indispensible for the company to organize their store through a more modern technique.

Traditional methods of tracking and tracing tools are ill-equipped to deal with the dynamics of fast-changing industrial atmosphere. Today, when we have 24 hours working units, it’s only logical that a 24 hour access to workers should also be provided. Without human involvement (through an operator etc.) it’s necessary to provide 24 hour tools access to workers while recording the transactions at the same time.

Equip workers with RFID based ID cards and access to storeroom is enabled only to the authorized. Also, all the tools are RFID tagged. The readers placed at the storeroom gate/door identify the personnel and also the tools that he picks up from the storeroom. The two are linked together and therefore the personnel are accountable for the tools until he returns them. At the end of one’s working hours, the worker deposits his tools and this movement is noted by the reader at the gate. Once returned, that worker is no longer associated with those tools.

To tackle the problem of tagging certain items that are difficult to tag, we could use a package that’s tagged. The tools can be collected in the package (bag) and they are already enlisted in the software. So when the package movement is detected, the tools inside are known too.

The advantages from using this solution are numerous. The human resource to manage the tools distribution & collection process is unnecessary. The workers show greater commitment to handover their tools back at the end of day as they can be held accountable for any subsequent loss. Searching for misplaced assets is all the more simpler due to the weeding technique of the RFID Reader where the reader its fed with missing RFID tag data and it keeps searching till the match is found.

Avid Software Solutions is fully-equipped to track and trace your tools/equipment using RFID technology. We have a dedicated software development wing that deals with customizing this solution to meet your specific requirements. Our solution helps you be firmly in control of the tools-movement in your plant, overcome budgetary concerns and streamline operations.

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14 Apr

Asset Tracking in Manufacturing Facility: RFID to the rescue

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Manufacturing plants have a huge number of valuable assets which are by and large at the disposal of a large number of employees. While access to these assets is part and parcel of employees’ work, that doesn’t come without its share of problems. Misplacement, theft or purposeful damage can cost a lot to company and traditional means of asset tracking cannot help you in such a tight situation.

RFID helps combat this delicate situation of retaining employee dignity while overseeing all asset movements diligently with flourish. Coupled with software that manages every aspect of this tracking process, the managers can rest assured of streamlined operation. Moreover, related assets can be linked together and to form relations.

Ranging from corporate assets like stationery, computers, documents etc. from industrial products like equipment, machinery, machine parts etc. – all important assets can be tagged and tracked.

A good software development partner can help you create various access-levels depending on the profile of the user. Thus a clerk will have limited access compared to the manager whose access is better. An admin user would be monitoring them all and helping them sort various issues.

One could generate reports based on various parameters and analyze them to take a stock of the situation. For the actual stock reconciliation process a handheld RFID reader is better positioned to assist us. The data stored in the handheld is transferred to the system through WiFi or Bluetooth technology. Once in system, the data is uploaded to the central server.

Details of personnel writing data is recorded too, enabling greater accountability. Combined with best RFID products and customized software developed to meet specific requirements, this RFID based Asset Management Solution can work wonders with your business efficiency and helps you cope up with dynamic and challenging environment of manufacturing facility.

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25 Mar

Animal Tracking : Go the RFID way

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One area where RFID technology is finding increased use is animal tracking. With more focus on animals’ health and environment, the business owners are keen to upgrade themselves and present a more sophisticated picture of their animal breeding techniques to their prospective customers.

A wide range of RFID tags have been specifically developed to cater to this segment. We have moderate-sized chips that can be clipped to animal’s ears, a ring tag that could be tied to legs of birds (poultry), or small needle-like structures that can be embedded to the animal’s interior body without harming them.

These innovative shapes gel well with the animal and far from appearing like an attachment, they are integrated to the body and do not hinder the animal’s movement or cause any inconvenience.  Thus, RFID Readers placed strategically take cognizance of animal movement and automatically recorded them. The animal-movement is monitored at every single instance and discrepancy if any is reported through an alert.

Apparently, technological advancement in this area enables storing animal data like medical history etc into the chip. So the next time you call a vet, all he needs to do is to check the RFID tag and retrieve its memory. Based on its medical history, one could decide further course of action quickly on informed grounds.

And it doesn’t here. Once meat is processed from these animals, it needs to be systematically arranged and preserved in cold storage till it’s purchased by the wholesaler. RFID tagging these food resources helps in better management and tracking resulting in better organization and operational efficiency. The tags are immensely useful in tracking during movement in the supply chain cycle.

 

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13 Feb

RFID helps in hassle-free travel experience

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Imagine a scenario where self-service bags drop but there are no check-in desks. The travelers’ passage is seamless if you could excuse the discrete Near Field Communication (NFC) sensors working as an undercurrent.

Let us also conveniently imagine that our smartphones would be well-equipped to be NFC-enabled. All you need to you is to showcase your smartphone at a touchpoint ! One’s biometric information could be picked up by surveillance cameras thereby ensuring that there is no need to queue up and show that you pose no security threat.

Sounds a figment of technological fantasy? Well, few technologists claim that if their ideas are implemented universally, this could as well put an end of pains & botheration of mass tourism. Several areas of travel would be improve through technology for holidaymakers in the near future.

Here’s more! An automated system that interacts with handheld devices are in final stages are in trial stage in Australia where flyer cards with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to help streamline the luggage tagging process. With luggage being electronically tagged we can track our bags as we travel.

Thus technology will render paperwork unnecessary at railway stations, airports and in quick succession guides and travel books would also become paperless.

So the next time you travel your pleasure would be complete without the ‘necessary evil’ of security measures thrust upon you. Also, this provides a more intelligent method to tackle security threats than traditional means.

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2 Jan

GPS-RFID : A unique blend of technologies !

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The future of any technology depends on its widespread use cutting across market verticals. It’s no surprise that the use of RFID has increased manifold recently.

It’s most innovative use comes from blending of RFID with GPS technology leading to superior tracking and identification. And the chief beneficiary of this blend is logistics and transportation industry.

The losses incurred due to merchandise theft, inefficient routing of vehicles and unprofessional practices of drivers can now be tackled effective through use of superior technology.The relatively less costs involved in installing this technology and the high ROI ensure that no company, big or small, can resist the temptation of using this.

This combination of RFID and GPS technology enables you to keep track of your vehicles and the merchandise within them from your office.  Using navigation maps, you can track the movement of your vehicles and guide them towards more efficient routes thereby reducing fuel costs. In case of a vehicle breakdown, you can ask another vehicle nearby to relieve it of its duty by safely shifting its merchandise.

You can also keep your customer posted of present location of vehicle and expected time of delivery. The merchandise, enabled with RFID tags, can be examined in one stroke by installing a RFID reader at strategic locations.

And ROI ? The paperwork involved in maintenance of merchandise, recording the no. of kms during journeys can be automated through use of this combination. This will help in accurate recording of all official data and will eliminate errors creeping in due to human intervention.

GPS facilities these days are very superior, to the point of noting temperature, automatic cooling and the owner can also stop fuel supply remotely thereby checking unauthorized journeys.

Using this technology will help you improve efficiency, minimize fuel consumption, satisfy customers and monitor your staff effectively.

 

 

Dilantin

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28 Nov

Charlie Walton, inventor of RFID, no more !

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“I feel good about it and gratified I could make a contribution.” — Charlie Walton, inventor of RFID is quoted thus in 2004.

And indeed, the use of RFID today cutting across markets and regions makes the above statement appear rather too modest.

While what we know as RFID today is the result of contributions from many eminent people, the credit for making available this technology for mass scale deployment and commercialization would certainly belong to Mr. Walton.  Walton has  10 patents for RFID related devices and 50 patents overall.

RFID’s superior technology replaced the earlier bar-code systems that were in vogue during 1970s and 80s.  The use of RFID was popularized through Wal-Mart’s extensive use of this technology for identifying products and improving  operational efficiency.

However, Walton could not reap the benefits arising from mass-scale deployment of this technology that started from mid-nineties as his patents had expired by then.

Few lives are counted in years and few, in contributions.  Walton belonged to the latter.

Imuran

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