The end of September, 2015, marks the 30th anniversary for CYBRA Corporation. For much of the 90’s and 2000’s, CYBRA’s bread and butter was barcode labeling and printing software (MarkMagic). Now, with the growth of the internet, smartphones, and their effects on so many industries, CYBRA has extended their brand to RFID technology.
RFID tags come in all different shapes and sizes. They help huge companies manage their shipping and inventory. They keep people safe, they help big data make sense, and, whether you notice it or not, RFID plays a big role in many peoples’ daily lives. But far too often, RFID technology is met with confusion, ambivalence, and hostility. In reality, RFID technology is nothing short of amazing. We are excited to be in the thick of such a burgeoning industry. And, since CYBRA is turning 30 years old, here are 30 of the many cool facts you probably didn’t know about RFID.
1. The Vatican has been using RFID to keep track of more than 2 million ancient manuscripts in the Vatican Library.
2. The smallest RFID tag is manufactured by Hitachi. It is .01 inches square.
3. RFID tags are in your EZ-Pass. When you zip through the EZ-Pass lane, the tag is read by a reader.
4. In some areas of the UK, some towns have adopted RFID to track the amount of waste each household throws out each week. The tags are in the garbage, and are called “bin bugs“.
5. The FDA has approved the use of RFID to track blood.
6. RFID tags are used to find lost golf balls.
7. Some RFID tags can accurately be read at under -75 degrees fahrenheit.
8. Despite RFID tags being largely unknown in the public eye, they are currently being used by Bon-Ton, Walmart, Target, Sears, Saks 5th Avenue, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Hudson’s Bay, and even Amazon!
9. RFID tags were initially invented by a Soviet spy.
10. Next time you head to Disneyworld, you will likely be using RFID to open your hotel room, pay for food, and receive pictures of all the fun you had at the happiest place on earth!
11. Embedded RFID sensors will likely be an integral part of driverless cars.
12. Rules and standards for RFID tags are administered by GS1. They’ve also been administering barcode numbers for years.
13. A company called Nutrismart has created edible RFID tags. The idea is to let people see exact nutritional numbers of what they eat. Literally putting data into the food you eat.
14. With bee populations dwindling around the world, scientists are using RFID tags to track bee migration and population.
15. The NFL uses RFID tags to procure futuristic statistics from their players. it’s called “Next Gen Replay“.
16. RFID technology is being used to protect nature including monitoring the whereabouts of endangered animals.
17. Scientists rely on RFID to infiltrate the close huddles of penguins in Antarctica. How? Remote control RFID readers disguised as a little cute penguin!
18. NASA currently has an extensive RFID program to make sure everything astronauts will need in space is with them when they take flight.
19. In 2006, game manufacturer, Mattel, created a game console called HyperScan. RFID tags were used to store a user’s data. It was an ambitious venture, but ultimately a commercial failure.
20. In 2007, a Korean McDonald’s became the first restaurant to offer an RFID enabled payment system VIA flip phones.
21. Riding on the subway in New York City will be reliant on RFID technology. The New York MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority), plans to phase out their current MTA cards that you must swipe at turnstiles in the coming years, and replace them with RFID enabled cards. Their projected goal to start using smartcards is 2019.
22. At the Milanese Ar Museum, RFID technology is used to enhance the experience of museum goers.
23. Sick of waiting for your bartender to pour your drink of choice? Well self serving beer stations may be the next big thing at bars and stadiums. And, the payment solution for self serving beer? RFID.
24. Sorry kids, schools in and around Cincinnati have adopted RFID to make sure kids are getting to and from school. Kids have to check in, so no more sneaking into school late!
25. The internet of cows? Many cattle ranchers are currently tagging cows with RFID tags in order to track the health of the cow, and to know if any cows are sick.
26. RFID + ice cream sounds like a delicious combination. At Izzy’s ice cream in Minnesota, they use RFID to make sure their fans know which flavors are available.
27. Even the US Army uses RFID. From tracking parachutes to securing locations, America’s bravest rely on RFID to keep everything organized.
28. Passive RFID tags can be read from as far as 300 feet away.
29. There are many ways in which RFID can be implemented into the healthcare industry. RFID chips may one day be used to help manage the pain of patients suffering from chronic pain.
30. As displayed on this list, there is an endless amount of uses for RFID. And, at the Auburn University RFID lab, they are looking to discover and refine new ways that RFID can improve industries around the world.