Common RFID Myths You Need to Know

You’ve probably heard the term RFID multiple times and even used this technology frequently, but do you understand what it is, how it works, and how it can assist your business?

If you’re like most of us, the answer is a no. RFID is something it pays to understand, though, so you can better utilize it to grow your venture. Start by learning what it is and some of the most common myths on the topic.

What is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It’s a technology that operates by way of radio-frequency waves and identifies, reads, and tracks tags that get attached to objects of varying shapes and sizes in all sorts of industries. RFID is utilized for products such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, clothing, cars, and even cash, plus it gets implanted into people and pets and is used in various other areas. Businesses used purposely-coded RFID asset tracking tags that contain data, from a single barcode up to more detailed descriptions, all stored electronically.

Myth: Too Costly

One of the most pervasive myths about RFID is that it’s too costly for organizations to bother using unless they’re giant corporations. While there’s an investment required to use RFID tags, such products are affordable these days, even for micro-businesses.

Once you obtain the primary RFID system, the most significant expense, the tags you put on goods won’t set you back much, at only a few cents or so each. However, the time and cost savings you get from utilizing RFID in your business should quickly give you a healthy return on investment.

Myth: Works Perfectly and is Always Error Free

On the other hand, RFID is a program just like other tools we use, and as such, isn’t guaranteed to be perfect. While the systems should work well for you daily, there is still the issue of human error to contend with. Thus, don’t assume that RFID will work perfectly every single time, and you’ll never face errors through it.

The reality is that you and your team have to input the data that gets stored on tags, and mistakes can arise at this step. A reader is only as good as the details coded onto the tag in the first place. Also, sometimes businesses can have some integration issues with RFID if they don’t get assistance setting up and learning systems and don’t take the time to check that things are flowing correctly.

Inefficient system design, some double-reads, or failure-to-read issues can arise at times, too. All in all, though, the tech tools are consistently reliable. When you buy quality systems, you should find they have features that detect and correct many errors, further limiting the number of challenges you have.

Myth: Not Different Enough from Barcodes to Bother With

If you’re already using barcodes in your organization, you might think, like many other people, that there’s no point adding RFID to the mix because there’s not enough difference between the two. This is a common misconception, though. RFID tags are more powerful than barcodes because they can store so much more data. While a barcode equates to up to 12 digits, typically, an RFID tag can contain up to 2KB of information, which is roughly the same as a complete typewritten page.

Another benefit of RFID tech is that you can program and then reprogram it, so it’s not a problem to update details as you want. Barcodes are more static. Plus, RFID tags don’t have to be in the line of sight of an RFID reader to work, as barcodes do. This makes RFID the better technology for tracking items across multiple locations.

Myth: Too Hard or Complicated to Implement

A myth that many people listen to but shouldn’t is that RFID systems are too complex or complicated to implement and aren’t worth the effort to set up and use as a result. However, this is not true. While there’s always going to be a little bit of time required to introduce anything new in your business, RFID systems these days are user-friendly. They integrate nicely with all sorts of ERP software and inventory management programs, which streamlines processes significantly.

Even those with only basic tech knowledge and experience can set up RFID but, if you struggle, remember that most systems have customer support available, too.

Myth: Creates a Privacy Issue

Another myth that does the rounds about RFID is that it creates a privacy issue. Again, this isn’t the case. The tags don’t invade anyone’s privacy and enable you to work out what people bought or their location. People with random RFID readers can’t simply read embedded data on devices and, if you want to, you can utilize specific software that renders RFID tags useless as soon as they leave a store or other spot.

RFID is a low-cost, innovative technology that can help entrepreneurs move their ventures forward in many different industries. If you haven’t already incorporated this kind of system in your workplace, it’s worth investigating the practical applications for your organization today.