RFID Talk Blog

Dear Santa: A drone and RFID tags are tops on my list

Ho-ho-ho! It’s time to pen my annual letter to St. Nick, and I’m hoping they are well educated on RFID up at the North Pole. As a matter of fact, I’m hearing rumors that Rudolph’s “blinking beacon” might actually be just that — a beacon that allows Mrs. Claus to track Santa on his route this Christmas Eve.

Instead of wishing for a shiny new car (totally connected to the Internet of Things of course), this year I’m being more realistic. I’d simply like a few hundred RFID in Retailpassive RFID tags and an RFID-enabled drone that I can fly around my backyard. Once I tag all of my yard tools and lawn games, the drone — equipped as an RFID reader — will conduct a nightly inventory to ensure that no tools are left out in the rain. And a quick check of my computer screen will reveal where the bocce balls are located in the tall grass before cranking up the lawnmower (tagged with RFID to record maintenance history, of course).

Heck, I could even tag the kiln dried fire wood so I never run short during an impromptu fire pit on a balmy summer night. Of course, my drone will be programmed so it will not fly into the blue spruce in the yard or the flag pole out front. It could also read the RFID tags and sensors on my tomato plants to indicate when watering is needed. Rest assured neighbors, my new toy flies without a camera, so no worries about privacy.

I could even program the drone to swing a hard left into the garage for a quick inventory of anything that might be out of place. I understand the folks at ADASA and at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany have embedded a drone-making elf at the North Pole. I just hope his name isn’t Herbie.

Last year Santa slithered down the chimney with great care, but forgot to outfit my house with RFID. So, it’s back on my list. I’m jealous of retailers with 99 percent inventory accuracy. I can’t find matching socks, my car keys are always missing and it takes me five minutes to find my sunglasses every day. I could be so much more productive — and write so many more RFID blogs — if I only had better visibility into my stuff.

I could easily take care of that by slapping an Impinj xArray reader to my ceiling, with a couple of Motorola (or should I say Zebra) handhelds for the bedrooms and home office. And while we’re at it, an RFID-enabled remote control to open and close the blinds would fit nicely into my stocking.

While I don’t expect to see a shiny new car in the driveway this year, if I did, I’d like it come with RFID embedded into the windshield so I don’t have to worry about my toll transponder being stolen.

I’d love for my favorite restaurant to issue RFID bracelets to their top customers. That way, when I can’t find my wallet at home (although that problem may be solved when I wake up Christmas morning), a simple swipe of my RFID bracelet will pay for my bar tab and dinner.

Santa was kind enough to leave me a nice Nest thermostat under the tree last year. Now I’d like something similar for the electric fireplace and for the lighting in my home. I’m almost never in the garage at night, so if a light is left on, my smart switch would know to turn it off. Similarly, a smart lighting system would dim lights in the kitchen after dinner, and adjust the lighting accordingly when I’m burning the midnight oil in the RFID 24-7 corporate office.

Let’s not leave out Tucker, the family’s adorable 10-year-old yellow lab. While not as active as in his younger years, this handsome canine still manages to escape the confines of the backyard from time to time. Fido doesn’t wander far, but the latest collar device from Whistle not only tracks a dog’s exact location through GPS, but provides data on your pup’s daily habits based on age, weight and breed.

Santa, this year I’ll be sure to leave out some cookies and milk on the table. My refrigerator isn’t RFID-enabled yet, but I’m pretty sure the milk hasn’t expired.

Merry Christmas!

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