Suppliers of equipment to educational facilities may want to start adding ID card printers to their stock, if recent research from the University of Wollongong's Early Start Research Institute (ESRI) proves insightful and successful. The ESRI's Karen Tonge is studying early childhood facilities and the influence of teachers on children at these – and all using RFID technology.
It's an interesting use for devices and tools predominantly used for security and access purposes, but with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures indicating more than 300,000 preschoolers in Australia over 2013-14, it could be useful on a wider scale.
How does it work?
According to RFID Journal, Ms Tonge is using tags and readers in bracelets with the children and teachers to determine how far away each child is from authority figures throughout the day. As an ESRI newsletter indicates, she will then use the data to work out how active children are, correlating this with overall health and wellbeing, and whether teachers influence this.
It's a three year study, and by the end of it more than 600 preschoolers will have taken part across 15 educational facilities. On top of this, approximately 100 teachers will take part. It shows a use for RFID technology that many researchers may not have thought of, that could perhaps be implemented by others.
When combined with other technology, this means that smart card printing devices could be used for a wide range of applications, whether it be surveying, monitoring sporting activity, or simply tracking a large group of animals, people or other subjects. Research from the Dalian and Harbin Universities of Technology has even outlined the myriad ways that RFID can be implemented in the construction industry.
Awareness of the applications of the technology should be a sound marketing avenue for anyone looking to market print ID card technology. As RFID is used in more unique situations, it may inspire further research involving the tags.