When it comes to RFID, your creativity feels like one of the only limits for form factor. Anybody who has tackled an open-ended project knows, however, that too much freedom can be paralyzing. So how do you go about selecting the perfect RFID form factor for your business? As ever, CARDCore has practical, straightforward advice on the subject.
Pay attention to your environment
Your work environment is a particularly important factor in choosing the best RFID product for your business. In food or health-related workplaces, for example, infection control is of utmost importance. The design of your RFID products should be focused on minimizing risks in this area — it should not, for example, feature ridges or places that are hard to reach. And, particularly if it will be worn by your staff, your product should be as easy as possible to clean and sterilize.
Other workplaces will have different priorities. Warehouses, construction sites, and other heavy-duty places will want a design to match their environment. Businesses at events or involved with tourism will be much better served by single-use items such as RFID wristbands.
Each option fits differently to each niche, and going with the cheapest option isn’t the best idea, as they perform different tasks in different places, either once or multiple times.
Readers and RFID
When planning your RFID strategy, it’s also important to consider compatibility. If you already have an RFID reader, be sure to double-check which protocols it is capable of interfacing with. Some RFID readers specialize in only a single type, while others have a wider range of compatibility.
If you have already purchased a reader, this decision can help narrow down the field of RFID products to choose from, bringing you one step closer to a decision. If not, it’s an excellent time to consider the sorts of features you’d like both in a reader and in the implementation of your RFID program. The following are excellent points to consider:
Frequency: What sort of frequency are your tags? Do you need a reader that deals with low frequency, high frequency, one equipped for UHF, or a mix of all three?
Type and location: There are RFID readers that are capable of acting by themselves or need to be connected to a device, either a PDA or hooked up to a laptop or desktop computer. Standalone readers can only hold a finite number of IDs, but are naturally more mobile.
Read and Write: Most readers are read-only devices. They can only access the data and perform a function with that data elsewhere. You’ll need to look into devices that can both read and write if you need to modify the data on the tags.
Finally comes form
Once the details of function have been ironed out, you can turn your attention to form. With RFID technology rapidly developing, your options are going to become wider and wider, allowing you to utilize RFID products as practical as they are pleasing to the eye.