Innovation

This two-day track will feature case studies of new and innovative uses of RFID technology in a variety of industries. Stay abreast of products and applications that are changing the way in which companies do business, and be the first to see cutting-edge research from labs around the world.

Attendees with an All-Access or Conference Pass can choose to attend any session in any conference track. Download a PDF of the full conference agenda.

May 10 11:00 AM

Reading the Waves: Using RFID for Human Object Interaction Detection

Disney Research, a part of The Walt Disney Co. focused on technical innovation, has developed a low-cost, unobtrusive method of using RFID to understand how humans interact with objects. By monitoring changes in the low-level radio channel parameters, a real-time classification engine is able to simultaneously track more than 20 objects and identify four types of interaction events with 93% accuracy. Learn how this system can be used for interactive gaming, activity inferencing in smart homes and the identification of customer browsing habits in retail environments.
Speaker: Alanson Sample, Ph.D., Associate Lab Director & Principal Research Scientist, Disney Research
May 10 11:50 AM

Solution Provider Session: HID Global—Selecting the Right RFID Technology

Your boss asked you to untangle the manual mess of managing materials, achieve accurate inventory counts and simplify operational procedures. So where do you start? RFID technology is a tried and true system used across many industries and is highly scalable to keep pace with the ever-changing technology landscape. Picking the right transponders can be cumbersome based on the application requirements and what you want to accomplish. The environmental conditions—for example, moisture, harsh chemicals, extreme heat or cold—can affect the success of your implementation. During this session, HID Global will explore the many characteristics of available technologies, pitfalls to avoid and security parameters to consider when selecting the right system and frequency.
Speaker: Richard Aufreiter, Director, Product Marketing, Identification Technologies, HID Global
May 10 12:05 PM

Solution-Provider Session: Tyco Retail Solutions—Always On, Always Open—The Connected RFID Store

Modern consumers want easy, convenient shopping experiences available anytime, anywhere. In this new retail landscape, connecting people, products and places via smart devices and real-time data drives insight and value through Internet of Things capabilities. RFID is the vital technology needed to ensure the real-time inventory accuracy and visibility necessary to successfully enable unified commerce and meet the expectations of today's shoppers. Learn how inventory visibility garnered by IoT capabilities, and enabled by RFID technology, is a key driver for accurate insights to support strategic retail initiatives.
Speaker: Brent Brown, Vice President & General Manager, Inventory Intelligence & IoT, Tyco Retail Solutions
May 10 12:30 PM

Lunch in RFID Journal LIVE! Exhibit Hall

May 10 3:00 PM

Precision Ranching: Using Drones to Manage a Herd of Cattle

Many innovative technologies have made their way to the farm or ranch—for example, GPS applications for precision seeding, and technologies that test and manage soil moisture content. Farmers and ranchers are an engaged, forward-thinking audience when it comes to using technology to improve data recording accuracy and increase the yields and efficiencies of their holdings. It's not only a fascinating application of unmanned aerial systems, but also a researcher's dream come true. Hear how a three-year applied research project resulted in the development of a drone-based RFID technology for the ranching industry.
Speaker: Glen Kathler, Applied Research Chair—RFID Application Development, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
May 10 3:50 PM

Researchers Develop Tag Using Wi-Fi Access Points

A team of Stanford University researchers have developed a small Wi-Fi device that behaves similarly to a radio frequency identification tag, sending a unique identifier that indicates where it is located, but doing so via Wi-Fi access points without impacting the Wi-Fi network where the tag is located. The solution, known as HitchHike, consists of a small tag—which could cost the same as an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag—as well as standard Wi-Fi access points and a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The HitchHike tag captures a transmission from a Wi-Fi access point, and then, in turn, transmits its own Wi-Fi signal to a receiver—a mobile phone, laptop or other Wi-Fi-enabled device. In that way, the tags do not interfere with other traffic on the Wi-Fi network. Learn how the tag can be used in the future and what sectors are most likely to be among the early adopters.
Speaker: Pengyu Zhang, Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University
May 10 4:40 PM

RFID Streamlines Prescription Will-Call System

North Carolina drug retailer Drugco Discount Pharmacy is employing an RFID light stick for pharmacy will-call. The system automates the retrieval process for prescription drugs when customers arrive at the counter to pick them up. The system eliminates the need for drugstore employees to sift through bags of prescriptions searching for the correct one for a specific customer. By using passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID, the system instead triggers a light stick to illuminate inside in a clear, plastic, hanging bag, leading workers to the right medication. Learn how the system is saving labor hours and, more importantly, how it improves customer satisfaction.
Speaker: Drew Huggins, PharmD, RPh, Chief Operating Officer, Drugco Health
May 11 9:00 AM

RFID-enabled Robot Reduces Labor Costs and Increases Productivity for Farmers

Researchers at Idaho's Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) have created IdaBot, an RFID-enabled robot prototype that can carry out basic farming tasks. The project's goal is to reduce labor costs, while easing the implementation of precision agriculture techniques for growers of specialty crops, such as fruits and grapes. The IdaBot uses commercial off-the-shelf sensors and a UHF RFID reader for navigation. This session's speaker will discuss each subsystem of the IdaBot and provide an overview of several RFID-localization techniques that could be integrated into the prototype in the future. Learn how RFID-enabled robots can be used in the specialty crop industry.
Speakers: Dr. Duke Bulanon, Associate Professor of Engineering, Northwest Nazarene University; Joshua Griffin, Assistant Professor of Engineering, Northwest Nazarene University
May 11 9:45 AM

Vitamix Improves Customer Experience and Safety With RFID

Vitamix, a blending equipment manufacturer, has integrated Near Field Communication (NFC) technology into its new ASCENT Series of blenders with the goal of improving customer convenience and safety. The company is installing NFC RFID readers into the bases of its machines and providing accompanying food containers with embedded tags, air-coil wire antennas and NFC chips. The result is a feature that Vitamix calls SELF-DETECT. When a user places a SELF-DETECT container on an ASCENT Series blender's base, the appliance reads the container's embedded NFC tag and can automatically change multiple operating parameters. The parameters change accordingly once the container on the base is identified. Learn how the use of the technology improves convenience, and how it helps to reduce unsafe operating conditions.
Speaker: Dave Kolar, Senior Engineering Manager, Vitamix
May 11 10:30 AM

Award Finalists Session: Best RFID Implementation (Other Industry)

This award will be given to the end-user company that has demonstrated the best use of RFID technology in an industry other than those above. The finalists, selected by an independent panel of judges, will each have 15 minutes to make a presentation. The finalists are:

  • Delta Air Lines, for its use of RFID to better track baggage and provide customers with real-time updates regarding the locations of their suitcases
  • Houston Forensic Science Center, for its use of RFID to accurately track all incoming supplies, supply room inventory, and real-time supply consumption, thereby enabling better replenishment
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for its use of RFID to track the hardware for and optimize the assembly of the James Webb Space Telescope
Speakers: Basil S. Jeffers, JWST Lead Parts Engineer, NASA/ A S & D ; Joshua Edewards, Program Manager, DELTA; David Leach, CFO / Treasurer, Houston Forensic Science Center