Supply Chain Industry Implements RFID Employee Tracking

Supply Chain Industry Implements RFID Employee Tracking

Do you know where your employees are? Keeping tabs on them just got easier. On March 2, 2017, Canada-based GAO RFID Inc. unveiled their new Active Personnel Tracking System, using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags for employee badges, lanyards and uniforms.

As reported by Supply Chain Digest on March 8th, GAO’s active tags ”transmit location information from the tag to the capture points [readers], which indicate the current location of the employee. As a result managers can use GAO’s web app to see a real-time map view of any floor and access a wide range of reports.”

Passive tags require power from readers, but active RFID tags have their own batteries. This means they are always on, can act as beacons and be equipped with sensors that detect motion and environmental conditions. They also operate with fewer, more widely distributed readers.

Even though fitness trackers and GPS devices are common these days, human tracking via RFID is a relatively new, if controversial application. In 2015, the Swedish company, Epicenter, was the first to implant chips in the hands of some of its employees, bringing to mind dystopian science fiction scenarios. While not a requirement just yet, implants may soon become the preferred interface between man and technology.

The Daily Mail reports that a Belgian marketing firm, New Fusion, has just begun offering its employees chip implants to replace their ID cards. The chips are much like those commonly used to identify lost pets, but could potentially be used to open doors, start vehicles, or even make payments. Gone would be the days of forgetting passwords or losing keys. In this age of digital everything, implants seem to make sense, though rules regarding how and when they are used will be necessary.