RFID can be used in a variety of situations to help people. Belgium is working on an “RFID-equipped Victim Tracking and Tracing System” (ViTTS). The procedure is that in a situation where there are disaster victims, medical personal will attach tags to each patient with relevant information about their injury, who they are, etc. This way each injured person can be properly tracked to insure they get what they need throughout their convalence. Family members will quickly be able to know which hospital their injured relative was sent to. This system is a way to perform efficient triage in the 21st century. RFID is also used to Authenticate that the drugs (whole, fresh, intact, not cut) leaving the “factory” are the same drugs that arrive where they can be sold and used by customers. As Martha Stuart might say, RFID, “It’s a good thing”.
RFID at the Airport
Asiana Airlines in Korea has been using Symbol’s RFID system for Baggage Tracking. The press release reports, “Symbol’s high performance AR400 RFID reader and RFID baggage tags are enabling Asiana Airlines to manage security issues such as passengers traveling with prohibited items including drugs or weapons. Symbol’s RFID solution is also enabling Asiana Airlines to significantly improve the efficiency of its baggage tracking and monitoring systems by 20 percent by replacing existing bar code systems with RFID readers and tags. By providing visibility for baggage track and trace with RFID tags that can be read with near 100 percent accuracy, Asiana Airlines will be able to improve airline operations by reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction, and providing a means for more security in baggage handling with an audit trail and reporting system.”
“Symbol’s RFID solutions for baggage tracking and monitoring systems offer high performance read rates and provide functionality that will enable us to extend services to other applicable areas of our business,” said Ebong Jung, project manager, Asiana IDT, a subsidiary company of Asiana Airlines. Asiana Airlines has finished its pilot project and will now extend the deployment of Symbol’s RFID solutions to all of its baggage tracking and monitoring systems from check-in to collecting baggage at Cheju International Airport, Cheongju Airport, Gimpo Airport, Kwangju Airport, Pusan International Airport, and Taegu Airport.”This is one of the first implementations of this type in Korea and we are very pleased with the performance of Symbol’s RFID solutions and the cooperation and support that we have received from Symbol in order to make this project a success and a showcase for the aviation industry in Korea,” said Dave Han, CEO of HiTrax Co., Ltd.
And in case you don’t understand why baggage handling is important (if you’ve ever lost your bag, I don’t have to say a thing), here’s some stats:
According to a report released March 21 by SITA, a software company for the airline industry, more than 30 million pieces of baggage were mishandled around the world in 2005, costing airlines $2.5 billion. Statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation says Southwest reported 383,240 mishandled bags in 2005, a 27 percent increase from the previous year while passenger traffic only increased 8 percent. Using an industry standard economic model that places the cost of each mishandled bag at an average of $87.50 — customer service, manpower to track and find the bag, reship the bag, etc. — it could have cost Southwest $33.5 million last year alone.
Click the thumbnail picture to the left to see an example of what an RFID boarding pass could look like. It would have the usual information plus a tag which will be associated with you and your baggage.
Sounds good to me. No fuss, no muss and no having to take my freaking shoes off.
Personally, I can’t wait for the airlines to start treating passangers like people again. Maybe use an additionl system where people can get themselves placed on a “Trusted Travelers” list (you know, like people who have never gotten a traffic ticket) so that they can just move along an airport without being molested – Ever. There should be a huge distance between criminals and law-abiding citizens.
“When even one American – who has done nothing wrong – is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril. ” – Harry S. Truman
Written by Cecilia