On September 23rd, the Auburn University RFID Lab hosted an open house and offered an interactive tour of the facility. Visitors of all ages attended out of curiosity and excitement. Many wanted to know what the lab does on a day-to-day basis, while others came to learn the basics of RFID and its applications.
Pictured above: Justin Patton, the Lab Director, shows the visitors the advantage of using RFID tags on denim in the mock retail store during the RFID Lab open house. In about four seconds, he was able to read 261 tags.
The tour began with Lab Director Justin Patton describing the basics of RFID tags and readers. He compared them to the more commonly known UPC codes seen in stores, so visitors had something familiar to compare it to. He talked about how they are different and the pros and cons of each.
Patton then moved on to describing the different ways the technology is being used. He beagn with information on how RFID technology is being implemented in professional and collegiate athletics. RFID is already being used by the NFL to track their players during games. It's also being used during practice for many collegiate teams, allowing the coaches to better track the endurance and health of their players.
With football season in full swing here on The Plains, being able to see this technology used with football gave the attendees a whole new perspective on RFID and its applications.
"My favorite part of the tour was hearing about how RFID is being used on football players," said one visitor. "It's just so cool!"
Patton then moved to the mock retail store and demonstrated the ease at which you can track inventory with RFID. Inside the mock retail store lives Jianny 5, the RFID reading robot built by students Jian Zhang and Yibo Lyu.
Jianny 5 uses an Xbox camera as an eye and moves around the store taking inventory without human assistance. This is another example of RFID making the retail industry more efficient.
Overall, the visitors seemed to enjoy the lab and the tour.
"I didn't really know anything about RFID coming in," one visitor stated, "but it is all just so fascinating and educational and exciting!" Visitor favorites included Jianny 5 and the football tracking system.
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