Use of RFID over Voice Processing

There have been many discussions on the usage of bar codes and radio frequency identification techniques in warehouses.  Each time the focus of the conversation has turned towards RFID. RFID asset tracking has been known to be beneficial for larger operations while barcodes are preferred for smaller operations, mostly due to the cost.  All of us are aware of what bar codes are but not many of us know much about RFID technology. Let’s throw some light on what RFID is and how it’s used in beneficial in warehouses?

What is RFID?

RFID is a single term used for the technologies that make use of radio waves by using several methods. The most common includes a microchip that stores a product serial number which identifies a product.  This microchip is attached to an antenna which transmits, either “actively” or “passively” the identifier. This is an auto identification and data capture method discovered during World War II.

How does RFID work?

An RFID system consists of RFID tags and RFID readers.  These tags can be either passive tags or active tags, both of which transmit encoded data. These
 tags are placed inside or on the objects to be tracked.  The greatest benefit of using RFID versus bar codes is the volume of data that can be stored in an encoded tag.  It is possible to store every serial number of product that is stacked on a pallet, for example.  Another benefit is the ability to automatically collect data from multiple items with one scan.  The often-used example is when the tags on equipment is scanned when a person is going through a portal (door).  No user intervention is necessary and all pieces of equipment are automatically identified. When used in supply chain management, RFID has saved a great deal of time and increased productivity.

Why RFID is preferred over voice processing?

Though cost of RFID technology and some technical hurdles hinder its use, still it offers numerous benefits over voice processing:

  • The biggest disadvantage of speech processing is non standard accents. The first hurdle for any voice recognition systems is that pronunciations differ according to different regions and different languages.  Also speaking patterns add another dimension to the complexity of this process. So language can create problems in the understanding and misinterpretation of words.  RFID technology is free of all such intricacies and difficulties, as human intervention is limited to a “scan”.
  • In warehouses there are many background noises that vary area to area.  Examples include the noises caused by dropping of any object or movement of conveyers.  These sounds can cause variations in the voice command given. So any voice processing technology has to be extremely accurate in order to prevent unnecessary mistakes. RFID is obviously safe in such conditions avoiding all such repercussions.
  • High level of speech accuracy is needed in voice processing systems.  If you want to insert any punctuation marks, you must speak the punctuation, otherwise it won’t be included in the command. In an RFID system the RFID tags include all characters required.
  • By using RFID you can scan many objects at a time but in a voice processing system each object has to be named to record it. This makes voice processing much more time consuming.

RFID technology is complex, so any company interested in implementing a systems using this technology should be sure to carefully select a vendor who is well-versed not only in the technology but in the software requirements and processes associated.

Author Bio:

Hi I am Alan Murfee author of this post. I deal in Logistics Solutions and writing is my interest and till now I have written many posts on various topics.