RFID basically means your wallet will block ‘Radio Frequency IDentification’, which is a means through which technologies can communicate with one another when at close proximity. RFID has a number of powerful benefits both practically and for marketers. This is how the chip in your credit card allows for contactless payments and it’s a great trick for saving you time. This is also how contactless payments work in your smartphone, though there are many other potential benefits to having RFID in a smartphone. For instance, this allows you to transfer information simply by holding one phone up to another (which is how some phone sellers help users to transfer their data for instance).
Then there are the uses of RFID that go beyond the commercial applications. For instance, RFID ha future ‘transhuman’ potential. Transhuman technologies are those that aim to provide humans with entirely new capabilities – one of which might be to embed RFID chips under the skin to allow us to unlock our homes and start out cars simply by approaching them. For marketers, RFID offers a new way to engage with an audience (‘tap here to download our free daily deals!’) as well as a way to communicate with people in the vicinity. In this sense, it can be used in a similar manner to Bluetooth marketing.
How RFID Works
RFID works via two interacting components: the tag and the reader. The tag is an embedded transmitter and receiver and is used to identify any kind of object. It could in future be useful for the internet of things. The tag has non-volatile memory storage and can have fixed or programmable logic in order to allow the processing and transmission of sensor data. There are different types of tags:
- Passive tags – cheap with no battery
- Active tags – uses an onboard battery and continually transmits information
- Battery assistive passive tags – uses an onboard battery that is only active in the presence of the RFID reader
The reader meanwhile uses a two way radio transmitted receiver called a transceiver or an interrogator. This sends an encoded radio signal that ‘interrogates’ the tag. This ‘wakes’ the tag and the transponder converts that radio signal into usable power (in the case of passive tags) to respond.
While RFID has many benefits, it also poses potential security risks. Today it is very important to ccarefully consider your choice of wallet. When you choose your wallet, it’s important to give it a little thought and not just go for the first thing that catches your eye (or the one you’ve had for the last 20 years…).
Not only is your wallet a very important fashion accessory but it’s also an important tool for keeping some of your most important documents and cards safe and organized. Choosing the right wallet can reduce your chances of being caught without ID, of losing cash in the street or of having your credit card charged without your permission.
What’s also highly important is that you find a wallet with RFID protection. The only problem is that RFID also means that a clever thief can use a device that they swipe over your pocket and wallet to remove cash from your card! You wouldn’t even know this had happened either, which is why it’s such a serious threat. Using an RFID blocking wallet means that you’ll be able to protect your card from these types of attacks and that they simply won’t work on you. You can then get your card out when paying with contactless as normal. Another option is to get a credit card protector sleeve. This does the exact same thing by offering RFID blocking but the difference is that it will only fit around one card, rather than affecting the entire wallet.
RFID and the Internet of Things
So, why are RFID tags important when it comes to marketing and advertising? The reason that this technology is being used today is due to the implementation of the “internet of things” in the near future. Basically, what the internet of things refers to is the complete networking of most or all of the physical objects that surround us with the mobile devices and computers that we use to access them.
Some examples of the internet of things and ways that RFID may be used in the beginning stages is to give information about an article of clothing. In fact, clothing will soon have sensors that can keep track of your health and allow you to access that information on your mobile device. This will not necessarily be done with radio frequency identification, but it will be part of the process.
Retail Advertising with RFID
Imagine that you are able to go into a store and simply hold your mobile device near a spot on an article of clothing and get information from it. You’ll be able to see what size it is without having to hunt for the tag, you’ll see what the current price is and you’ll be able to read customer reviews for that particular shirt. You can even see what materials it is made of and look online for a coupon or promo code that will allow you to save money on your purchase. There are a lot of exciting applications with RFID.
Privacy Concerns with RFID
There has been a great deal of talk about privacy concerns as it relates to RFID. The problem is, RFID can be place into anything, and the size of the chips now will seem humongous in comparison with the ones that are going to be available in a decade or two. Even now, RFID chips can be placed into money, items, animals and people, there is concern about unscrupulous companies using these tags to gather information without permission and to use that information to get the consumer to shop at their stores and buy their brands.
Today, there is a great deal of excitement about RFID as well as some trepidation. The market was worth nearly $9 billion in 2014 and those numbers are set to skyrocket in the future as things like labels, software programs, RFID chips themselves and many more products and services associated