RFID Talk Blog

Survey: RFID gets bad grades for tracking students

Using RFID to track the safety of students has made great strides over the past several years, but a new survey says that half of Americans still aren’t ready to utilize the technology to make sure school children get to school safely.

The study, conducted by research consultancy Market Strategies International, says that 51 percent of consumers are interested in a GPS locator for family members, a GPS locator for pets and identity monitoring at schools/daycares.

(Click here to view RFID 24-7’s previous coverage on this topic)

“As we send our kids back to school, this seemed a bit puzzling–we hypothesized it would be higher,” said George Wilkerson, executive vice president of the communications division at Market Strategies. “What we learned that helps explain this finding is that 50 percent of consumers view tracking people as an invasion of privacy and 61 percent believe the technology provides a false sense of security.”

RFID is widely used overseas to track students and buses, and is becoming more commonplace in the states as a method to ensure that students board the right busses, and are dropped off at the right location. In addition, the technology can help school officials to make sure everyone is accounted for in case of emergency evacuations.

RFID is gaining greater acceptance at the University level, where it is used to take attendance in large lecture halls, and as a combined solution for access control and contactless payment at schools like Northern Arizona University.

Wilkerson says that the technology is clearly ahead of the consumer adoption curve, meaning that there is a tremendous opportunity for companies to create loyal customers by helping them understand emerging M2M technologies and their associated benefits.

“Overall, half of consumers indicate some level of interest in M2M solutions that can track people and pets,” he says. “To pave the way for adoption of these security technologies and applications, savvy companies will pursue aggressive education campaigns.”

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