RFID – Changing The Way We Live

Radio Frequency Identification (or RFID) uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking. Potential is tremendous with large number of usages in various areas raging from omni-channel retailing to healthcare. Let see table stakes it aims to offer in both the areas.

a) Omni-channel marketing:

An approach to track down customers through mobile internet devices, computers, television, and other similar platforms. To make it clear, suppose you like to buy a latest iphone. Today, you can either buy it online or from any nearby outlet. Keep in mind, there may be many retailers/wholesalers, available to you but you can’t just place your order with one and buy from another as each of them have their own separate inventory. But in coming years, you’ll be able to achieve that. Plus, you would get real-time updates including customer reviews, products cost and availability. Without any doubt, it provides a new supply chain and inventory management system.

But how BIG is the market to convert it into a profitable business?

* Mobile internet users by 2015 in Asia – 1.5 Billion  (India: 300 Million, China: 700 Million).
* Two-fifths of UK own a smartphone.
* US retail m-commerce sales shot up 81% to nearly $25 Billion last year.
* Worldwide 4% drop in laptop and desktop sales at the end of 2012 and continues to fall.

What these numbers suggest?

i) Merchandise to be more customer centric —- better customer satisfaction and engagement.
ii) Increase in customer retention rate and reach —– increment in sales volumes.
iii) Your company to create more job opportunities —– transforming whole community.

b) Healthcare:

RFID embedded sensors are used by a huge % of  medical fraternity nowadays. A patient’s day-to-day medical parameters like blood pressure level, heart-beat rate, sugar level, etc. can be processed and reported into useful data monthly, quarterly or yearly, providing doctors detailed analysis and help them managing their patients in an efficient way. It also provide solution(s) to countless problems mentioned below.

What are its benefits?

1) Patients check-up is faster —– you don’t have to wait long in long queues.
2) Proper tracking of medical equipments and inventory —– decrement in hoarding activities.
3) Eye on medical staff (esp. on working hours) —– more emphasize on patients’ care and health.

What all other global issues it can fix?

i) Large % of no. of births and deaths in low-income and middle-income groups are unregistered.
ii) Understand the source(s) of obesity by comparing data with food products companies (Around 25% Americans and close to 22% Europeans are obese, according to WHO).

Conclusion:

RFID implementation, in both the sectors, clearly put forth an opportunity for companies to be big and transformative by changing lives of billions of people worldwide.