Data Capture on the Tag...or Not?
May 24, 2004
At IDTechEx, we believe that there is a place for both licence plate ("number plate") and data-rich tagging in most Total Asset Visibility (TAV) projects. The main arguments for data on the network are that it constrains tag costs, particularly important when large numbers are involved, and reduces the chance of data inconsistencies. To those that say the Internet is too often slow or not available, the retort is that it is rapidly improving and data storage and processing costs are tumbling down. Some of the envisaged applications are not sharply time critical anyway. The barcode is only a licence plate, so it is specious to argue that it cannot be replaced with one.
Alternatively, RFID tags may be remotely written to at intervals or have extra data beyond ID put on the tag at the start. For example, warranty status, service manuals, planned maintenance schedules, security checks etc may be updated for the product that the tag identifies.
More sophisticated tags may carry out data processing. The data and/or processing may or may not be duplicated between the two locations. Reasons for moving beyond a dumb number plate include:
- Networks are not always available or working.
- Cost of network programming and access may be prohibitive for certain applications.
- There may be a need for redundancy (certainty of availability).
- Speed of accessing the network may be inadequate.
- Ability to respond to fraud by relocating and improving defences is an important part of the specification of some systems.