RFID & GPS for Waste Management

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 11:25 AM

Tags: Trimble, RFID, GPS, Waste Management

Locationing and Auto-Identification technologies are being used in a number of waste management activities - from using GPS for fleet management, to RFID-enabled recycling incentive programs, to contributing to several breakthroughs in smart packaging.

And, the innovation continues.  Just last week, Trimble Environmental Solutions announced cBin™, a new solution for managing remote recycling containers. According to the announcement, cBin allows hauling operations to save time and money by reducing fuel consumption, labor, and truck wear and tear incurred when they pick-up empty or partially full containers.

The cBin solution consists of a remote sensor that sends fill level and asset status information via wireless communications to a Web portal that can be accessed to manage container inventory and pickups. cBin sensors automatically measure container fill levels hourly and send updates to the cBin portal.

Trimble cBinPortal

The scBin Portal ummary screen provides an "at a glance" view of all containers in a community for rapid evaluation of container status.  Immediate updates are sent if fill levels exceed action levels.

While GPS technology has certainly been a difference-maker for fleet management, and now container monitoring, Challande – a Swiss waste management and material transportation company – chose to integrate RFID with GPS, setting them up for a greater return on their investment than if they just had GPS alone.

For 10 years, when Challande had a GPS system in place, they could see where their trucks were located and could then manually track down the various containers and waste bins they owned – a system that got the job done, but not one that was entirely efficient. Challande has hundreds of pieces of equipment they need to monitor. By attaching RFID tags to trailers, trucks, and cargo this year, they have been able to gain a more comprehensive view of the many moving parts of their company. The difference from using GPS alone?  Now the exact location and ID number of every bin and truck Challande owns is automatically aggregated and sent to their existing management software.

For Challande, the return on their investment is coming from all directions. Their risk of misplacing bins and other property is now practically non-existent. The time their employees used to spend tracking down bins is no longer an expense they have to account for. They don’t have to spend time or money implementing new management software, because they can integrate the new RFID tags with their existing system. Challande can even minimize delays in transportation and delivery by looking at an item’s distance from its destination and making adjustments on the fly.

Challande, and many others, are already watching their RFID systems pay for themselves.  And, as highlighted in our Infographic – The Future of RFID, the convergence of RFID with technologies like GPS is helping companies better manage their assets and the myriad of moving pieces they are responsible for.

Over the next decade, the convergence of wireless technologies will be augmented by RFID systems and the integration of passive RFID as part of this platform will be driven by the potential to measure, report and monetize a growing number of transactions in the physical world.  In certain applications, it is hard to imagine a future where everyday physical objects won’t have "built-in" RFID.

On Tour With RFID

Posted by Anna Zauner on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 08:36 AM

Tags: RFID, RFID Wristbands, Social Media

Outdoor Concert VenueThe emergence of RFID on the concert scene should really come as no surprise.  As music festivals of all kinds are gaining popularity, organizers want their audiences to have one less thing to think about when it comes to getting in the door. RFID enabled wristbands do just that. In addition, they offer all kinds of added benefits - such as combatting ticket counterfeiting, supporting cashless payment, and even integrating with the fans' preferred social networks.

RFID was initially used as a ticketing solution for large outdoor music festivals, starting in 2004 with its adoption at SXSW in Austin, TX. It emerged in the form of wristbands and cut down significantly on gate crashing and lost tickets. It also introduced a cash-free payment system, which is undeniably popular since it can be risky to carry around large amounts of money.  Though mainstream use of RFID spans nearly a decade, it wasn’t until its much publicized implementation at popular music festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo did people really begin to take notice.

According to a recent article published on Hypebot.com, RFID adoption at concerts has been steadily increasing; this year was no exception.  The main focus of attention, though, was focused on concert goers ability to “Check-In” via their Facebook account.  Companies such as Intellitix are contributing to the success of RFID and social media at the concert scene.  At both Bonnaroo and Coachella this year, Intellitix powered Facebook check-ins via their “Live Click Stations” where fans could upload a picture of themselves to Facebook at their favorite band’s concert, surely becoming the envy of their friends!

It doesn't stop there. Fans are also able to go beyond Facebook status updates and include various tie-ins with sponsors and off-site partners.  At Roger Waters-The Wall tour this year, more than 70,000 fans had their RFID enabled wristband linked to their Facebook account. This process allowed them to post messages from Amnesty International during the concert aimed at spreading awareness about Amnesty’s 50-year battle for human rights.

The statistics in this market are getting pretty interesting.  At Coachella, more than 30,000 people registered to use the Live Click stations to update their status on Facebook.  Bonnaroo took it to a whole new level with over 74,000 registrations for check-ins at the “largest Live Click Stations ever made.”

RFID offers proven benefits when it comes to streamlining concert admittance and combating ticket counterfeiting, but with the continued popularity of social media platforms, it is probably safe to say it hasn’t reached its peak!

dwinQ RFID Social Media Platform Wins Gold at London Olympics

Posted by Ken Lynch on Mon, Aug 06, 2012 @ 05:04 PM

Tags: RFID, Smart Displays, Social Media, Social Networks

dwinq LondonIt’s hard to say which event has been the most thrilling to watch; men’s swimming knowing that this may be Michael Phelps’ last Olympic hurrah, Usain Bolt setting an Olympic record in the 100-meter dash, or the fierce competitions in sports that we usually don’t get to see like fencing and water polo.

In the middle of ‘the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat’, of the London Olympics, we are also excited to hear of RFID-enabled social media’s place on the medal stand.

As the Official Treat Provider to the London 2012 Olympics, Cadbury has created Cadbury House – inflatable purple domes in Hyde Park where guests can easily share their experiences with friends and family. With a passive UHF RFID system created by dwinQ, guests at the Cadbury House can immediately link photos of their Olympic visit via their Facebook pages – creating a seamless (or as dwinQ calls it – frictionless) social media experience.  

Here’s how it works: RFID Journal explains that guests are given badges that contain EPC Gen 2 passive UHF RFID tags. They then register their Facebook account information which is linked to the unique identification number encoded in the badge's RFID tag. When guests enter one of the Cadbury Houses, they can check in, simply by having the badge near a check-in kiosk, each outfitted with ThingMagic readers.  

Once the first reader has checked-in a guest, he or she can simply go to any pre-determined location throughout the park, such as a photo area. The RFID reader in that area captures the tag's unique ID number in the badge, communicates the information to Dwinq's social-media platform, which then links the appropriate badge ID with the right Facebook account, and posts an update on the person's page.

Since the 2012 Games began, Cadbury House has been receiving approximately 3,500 visitors daily. The Company expects 50,000 guests to check-in over two weeks, which means that the Cadbury House Olympic experience will reach a huge number of people through social media channels. According to the press release, “The solution creates fun for guests while simultaneously amplifying Cadbury's brand messaging to hundreds of thousands of people beyond the event attendees.”

Once again we see that RFID + Social Media = Reach.

This is reminiscent of a similar experience offered at RFID Journal LIVE! a couple of years ago where attendees could extend their event experience over social media. Our case study, “Building Brand Loyalty and Reach through RFID and Social Media” can be downloaded here.  

For more information, check out dwinQ’s blog post on their Olympic experience. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to “Like” ThingMagic and dwinQ on Facebook!

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