Everyday, scientists are figuring out new species to track thanks to RFID technology. Just last night, I was watching Shark Week on Discovery, and they were catching bull sharks to track in Lake Pontchartrain. This year bull sharks made the top spot on the list of most dangerous sharks, but tracking quiet, little honeybees is quite a different story.
In Germany a scientist has developed an active RFID tag to track honeybee behavior. This study conducted by the director of the Icarus (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) will be tracking the honeybees to study their behavior and potentially save them from disease and plague which is causing a significant drop in the honeybee population. Farmers in the United States saw a 78% increase on bees leaving their hives and abandoning everything this past winter. Scientists are trying to find a way to keep the honeybee safe and healthy because we depend on them to pollinate at least one-third of our food crops. Currently, the tag is a little heavy for the poor bees, but scientists are working hard to make the battery smaller to make sure that they can understand this delicate creature.
Sure, honeybees are not anything like bull sharks, but we need to understand all species in order to help save them from becoming endangered. If we can track and understand animals’ behavior, it will make the job of saving them that much easier.
Read the full story at Salon.com.
Onto a regular news topic for the week, Guinness Beer has launched a new marketing campaign with RFID NFC tags. This one is a little different than the self-service stations we have seen in the past couple of stories. Guinness has launched this new marketing campaign in Great Britain and Ireland letting customers’ place their NFC enabled phone near a Guinness tap to see if they have won a free pint of Guinness beer. That seems so much better than those silly numbers under a Coke-Cola cap that we have in the United States. Who has the time to find a computer, launch Coke’s website ,and type in random numbers to see if they have won a prize? People are all about instant gratification, and let me tell you, numbers under a cap are NOT that.
It’s rather like McDonald’s Monopoly when you get that instant gratification of a free breakfast sandwich as you peel back that game piece. The feeling you get from that is like no other. Now, imagine it’s RFID on your phone with a free pint of beer. Why hasn’t anyone implemented this in the bars around me?
If I keep doing a news story a week about alcohol, you guys will have to start calling this the Booze News with Suze…
See more at RFID-ready.com!
How can RFID contain fuel loss?
For some companies with corporate vehicles, fuel loss is a serious financial issue. Datatronic developed a new system using a passive RFID tag and RFID reader to keep fuel loss to a minimum. Datatronic reports that about 30% of fuel used each month is unaccounted, and we all know the high cost of fuel these days. They first came out with an active RFID tag system which was extremely costly, but they just developed BlueTank where an EPC Gen 2 UHF tag is attached to the vehicle and a reader is installed on each pump.
When you put the pump up to the vehicle, the reader captures the ID number on the RFID tag, and the reader sends that number to a program that controls the fuel pump so you can start pumping. The program also measures how much fuel has been pumped and stores the data so that anyone can look at the reports at any time. The employee ID badge number can also be tracked when fueling because their employee badge has a passive RFID tag on it as well. Datatronic estimates that the cost of implementing this system pays for itself in one month with a 100 vehicle fleet. Hopefully, this will drive the cost down for large companies. Before the system, the company was even thinking that people were fueling their own personal vehicles with the fuel they pay for. But now, that’s going to be very difficult to pull off with this RFID system in place.
Find the story at RFID Journal.