RFID heading to mobile phones

Users also view aids for diabetics, faster ways to pay for gas at the pump

Presenters at RFID World in Boston Wednesday focused on using second-generation active and passive radio frequency identification tags to provide advanced security and authentication, as well as ways to broaden the reach of the technology.

Among the buzz from attendees was how the average wireless device could soon become an RFID reader, or perhaps a related radio-capable device for Near Field Communication, a short-distance radio technology to give a mobile user easy access to all kinds of data.

One attendee, Russ Lamer, said he was just starting early investigation into ways that fleet truck drivers could equip their standard cell phones to act as a kind of "speed pass" to quickly pay for fuel at a truck stop, similar to the Speedpass used at Mobil gas stations. Lamer, manager of emerging technologies at Wright Express in South Portland, Maine, said drivers might also have fuel discount coupons delivered wirelessly to their phones that could be used during fuel purchases.

With some of the mobile payment technologies he is investigating, Lamer said the modern trucker may eventually be able to pay by authorizing a credit card via the cell phone. "It makes the most sense" for the cell phone to work as the RFID reader, Lamer said, adding that he is interested in finding which chips could be used to provide the functions and at what cost.

Other attendees said they were dazzled by an MIT presentation last night that showed emerging technologies similar to RFID that would allow someone with diabetes to read his blood sugar level easily several times a day with a cell phone receiving data from a patch on his arm.

Steven Georgevitch, senior manager of supply chain technology at The Boeing Co.'s Integrated Defense Systems, said in an address that all the emerging wireless technologies are exciting, but warned IT managers to plan ways to prevent radio frequency (RF) interference, especially in large companies with many wireless applications.

At Boeing, there are 150,000 employees in 70 countries and a variety of wireless technologies are used, including active and passive RFID, GPS, and two variations of wireless location services. Badges worn by employees also use proximity radio technology, in which an employee is identified by passing close to an RFID reader at entrances to buildings, Georgevitch said.

With so much variety in unlicensed spectrum, Boeing has tried to manage possible RF interference with an internal organization called the Frequency Management Organization. The group studies a proposed wireless use from an employee group, conducts technical tests on it, and then approves or rejects the project, Georgevitch said. Boeing's chief technology officer also has veto rights over which projects can move forward.

"RF should be treated as a scarce resource," Georgevitch advised IT managers in other organizations. "Everybody wans to use RF or plug into Bluetooth or 802.11. Collisions are inevitable."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?