Over time, the ways products have been tracked through the supply chain have changed just as technology is constantly progressing. Yet, there are still constraints to improve the methods of tracking and shipping due to the lack of technology in these fields. Bar codes have helped but still need human interference. Many companies are starting to turn to radio frequency identification tags. RFID tags can help companies with tracking and shipment of any product and reduce time to improve customer satisfaction. (Wolff, 2001) Companies such as IBM who are producing the tags have started to think of ideas to revolutionize this plan. The RFID tags can help track products as they enter and leave warehouses, and can speed up the shipping process. They can be put into different products and even use them in such ways as at the grocery store instead of having cashiers and cash registers. (Wolff, 2001) The superstore, JC Penney, is interested in taking advancements with the RFID tags. These tags are programmable and cannot get damaged like barcodes can. In the 21st century, we are constantly moving forward with such innovations. The RFID tags are currently in use by some companies already, and being modified by others for their particular needs. These tags could open doors for many new inventions and help us progress into a faster-moving and progressing world. Background
Radio frequency identification has been said to go as far back as World War II. Countries were using it for tracking planes and other means of transportation by radar. The major super powers of World War II such as America, Japan, and Germany, all had been using this technology. Germany was the first to discover that the sound wave would change depending on how their pilots came back to base. This helped them determine whether enemies or their own pilots were coming into their territory. (Roberti) From this, scientists kept progressing with different types of radiofrequency tags to identify sole objects. From the advancement in this form of technology, anti-theft tags were created, which sends a signal when it is not paid for and someone tries to leave the store with this item. The US government has also been working with RFID tags with tracking nuclear supplies, along with trucks to help while delivering different things. (Roberti) The tags are being used today in major companies such as Wal-Mart, to track products throughout the supply chain. EZPASS is probably the best example of usage of the RFID tags. Mobil Exxon currently uses RFID tags with their “speed pass.” This speed pass allows customers to buy petrol without using any method of currency. The RFID transponder takes the identification number of the customer and then charges the amount to an existing credit card. (Roberti) The RFID are in use majorly today and are going to keep advancing through time. Potential Benefits
The expansion of the radiofrequency in and of itself is a huge accomplishment for society, and all around the world. These tags can help with tracking products, quicker payments, decrease waiting for customers, healthcare, medicine, and so much more. EZPASS uses these tags already and decreases travel time because they have “EZPASS only” lanes when paying tolls. The RFID tags can be smaller than someone’s fingernail but can still be tracker anywhere. Hopefully over time, these tags will take the place of all barcodes and will not need human interference. Grocery stores can use these tags in their products to just bill you through the scanner as you leave the store, which IBM suggests. You can see a commercial of this in an IBM commercial for their RFID tags and what they can bring. That would just be the beginning, since now they are suggesting injecting patients with RFID during their surgical implants to detect healing processes. “Innovapaedics' long-term (approximately five-year) goal is to offer a ‘Smart Implant’ solution that would include RFID tags...
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