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TechWaTch Blockchain and RFID:

ternet of Things (IoT) to increase ef- ficiency, improve decision making and strengthen customer service. Machine-generated data is helping businesses to better understand their customers, their needs and their data. The manufacturing industry is

In Pursuit of the Internet of Things C

By Brian Berry, Lindsey Donato and Will McCarthy, blumshapiro

ompanies and organizations of all kinds and industries are increasingly looking to the In-

products all along the supply chain. This includes individual parts, histo- ries, timelines, etc. This allows them to make smarter decisions, reduce processing times, reduce errors, avoid product and financial reconcili- ations, and decrease overall costs. With consumers now being more

leading the charge. The combination of blockchain ledger technology and RFID/IoT device technology is revo- lutionizing the manufacturing indus- try’s supply chain management process, as well as the customer pur- chasing paradigm, as consumers are now more informed than ever prior to making a decision.

Impact on Manufacturers Manufacturers who use RFID,

IoT and blockchain technology can now better track and monitor their

C soutm ds r t n

informed than ever, their ability to be more selective with their purchasing is skyrocketing. The demand for de- tailed information regarding the to-be- purchased products will now be ex- pected from manufacturers. According to data from Juniper

Research, the total number of IoT sensors and devices is expected to leap from 21 billion this year to 50 billion by 2022. An IoT device is de- fined as anything with a sensor at- tached that can transmit data from one object or person to another with the help of the internet. IoT devices vary considerably. “Wearables,” such as Fitbits and

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Specializing in state-of-the-art EMI custom filters, engineering and manufacturing services

smart watches, smart homes — which employ remotely controlled lights, temperature and security sys- tems — health monitors, smart chil- dren’s toys, driverless cars, and many others rely on the IoT. These types of devices transfer data using the internet and unique identifiers, UIDs. One of the most common unique identifiers we see today is RFID technology.

RFID and Blockchain RFID, radio frequency identifi-

cation, provides a way to uniquely identify IoT devices in the real world. IoT devices commonly use an RFID tag, or chip, usually embedded in the device. This is the “thing’s” user- name and password. RFID readers read the tag in order to detect the “thing” and receive data. RFID is an automated, wireless

technology that allows machines to identify computers or objects and record details and data about those objects through radio waves. RFID devices can be identified,

tracked and monitored with “tags” and their specific UIDs in real time. RFID consists of two key components — a tag, or chip, and a reader. Blockchain is a new kind of

database for the digital age. Block - chain is optimized for multiparty transactions, best applied whenever all parties are not well known. IoT is

one such case. IoT devices are not people or companies, they are things. Blockchain ledgers automate

the logging of the IoT device informa- tion exchange. They act as an auto- mated historical data log, where all of the back-and-forth RFID commu- nications are quickly accessible and immutably stored (meaning they cannot be changed once recorded). The blockchain ledger allows

companies to check product status and histories in near real time. This ability is transforming modern-day manufacturing, and impacts suppli- ers and consumers.

For the Supplier. Suppliers will know more about their ongoing processes in real time. For example, consider the produce industry. A pro- duce supplier using blockchain ledger technology along with RFID and IoT technology will be able to track and monitor produce growth, shipment times and locations, status, ripeness, and quality, and any other desired information.

For the Consumer. Using the RFID technology embedded in a product, the consumer can now make highly informed decisions. Consider the consumer of produce. By scan- ning a QR code on an orange, for ex- ample, the consumer can now read the history of that fruit (where it came from, how it was grown, quali- ty, etc.) If the consumer is curious about if that orange is truly organic, RFID technology will provide the va- lidity of the consumer’s request.

The future of manufacturing is

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upon us. Soon, consumers will be able to view an entire product histo- ry before they make a purchase deci- sion with a quick scan of the product from a smartphone. Full transparen- cy between supplier and consumer is going to be expected. Consumers will be completely empowered with the details of their purchase before they decide. Manufacturers can use IoT devices and RFID technology to bet- ter understand the sales of their products, customer preferences, con- trol product issues or concerns, as well as better understand logistics and quality. Manufacturers’ accountability

and transparency demands are cer- tainly rising with the power of tech- nology, but companies can also use these tools to transform their busi- nesses and gain an early competitive

advantage. Contact: blumshapiro, One In-

ternational Place, 16th Floor, Boston, MA 02110 % 781-982-1001 fax: 617-472-2586 Web: r

June, 2019

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