RFID may seem like a new technology, but you would actually be surprised at how much we use it in our daily lives! Without realizing it, we tend to use RFID sometimes several times a day!
Here are a few examples of where RFID is used in daily-life:
- Apple pay
- Hotel room access
- Chipping your pet
- Getting soda at the movies
- Free-way Toll Booths
It seems strange to think of any of these things as leveraging RFID technology! After reading this list, you may consider yourself somewhat of an expert on the subject.
We’ve all forgotten our wallets at home, but with RFID, there is nothing to fear! Without realizing it, most of us are actually carrying around a miniature RFID reader in our pockets, which can be used as a digital wallet. Many iOS and Android smart-phones have an NFC (near field communication) reader inside them. What it means is that, in the case of forgetting a wallet, you can still use the wallet app connected to your debit card and be able to use your phone for contactless, secured money exchange. RFID is a technology that exchanges data, so as you can see, you are using RFID through your transaction by exchanging debit card information to purchase a loaf of bread at the grocery store.
Hotel Room Access
Have you ever forgotten which hotel room you were staying in and found yourself trying to use your room key on a bunch of different doors, only to see the red “access denied” light being flashed over and over? Well, then you are more than familiar with RFID technology! Hotel room access cards have little RFID chips inside them that, when presented at the correct door, correspond with a mechanism that opens the door and grants you access to your room. So the door to your hotel room is actually a little RFID reader that only communicates with your specific access card.
Chipping Your Pet
Nobody wants to lose their best furry friend, and with RFID technology, you can reduce that risk! Many people do not realize that when they “chip” their companions, they are actually embedding an RFID chip into their cat or dog. These chips are perfectly safe to your animal friend’s health, and they can come in really handy when the unthinkable happens. If you find yourself in a situation where your chipped animal has gone missing, the RFID chip can provide an extra layer of security. You can associate pieces of information about yourself to the chip, such as your contact information. Then, when someone finds your animal and brings him or her to the vet for a scan, that contact information will be pulled up, and you will receive the best phone call of your life!
Getting Soda at the Movies
You may see this example and think it is the strangest one! How could RFID possibly serve me my Diet Vanilla Dr. Pepper? Well, the answer is inside the Coca-cola free-style soda fountain, literally. Some restaurants and movie theaters have this freestyle machine, which allows you to use a touch-screen to select and customize the soda beverage of your choice. This is because the machines have Impinj Monza tag RFID chips and Impinj Indy SiP RFID readers inside running the show. These RAIN RFID enabled machines use the benefits of UHF RFID technology to activate certain mechanisms based on what the user selects on the touch-screen, thus leaving you with a tasty and refreshing carbonated beverage.
Free-way Toll Booths
Many toll booths on freeways use RFID technology to grant vehicles passage through the booth via electronic payment. This can save a lot of time! Instead of having to stop and pull out $5 for the toll-keeper, one can simply use an RFID enabled windshield label to cruise through the toll booth and continue about their day. If you live in California, you may be familiar with Fast Trak. Fast Trak uses UHF RFID technology to read the data from your Fast Trak pass, which is actually an RFID transponder. So, without even realizing it, if you use Fast Trak, you are driving around with an RFID tag!
These are just some examples of the many ways RFID technology is being used in our every-day lives. So, next time you are at the supermarket or crossing a bridge, you can consider yourself an RFID expert!