[LINK] RFID in Govt, and in People

Geoff Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Tue Oct 3 13:24:52 AEST 2006

RFID/Inductive coupling does not propogate waves. It uses magnetic coupling, so 
  it is a closed loop. i.e. it is not like a radio transmitter, its like a 

Kim Holburn wrote:
> On 2006 Oct 03, at 1:09 PM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:
>> On my brief skimming, the articles make no mention of "magnetic" beam 
>> forming. They are all referring to "beam-forming" in the "far-field" 
>> EM waves or "wave cancellation".
> The last link was about audio beam forming; beam forming can be done 
> with any wave forms.  
>> Library RFID systems use 13.56Mhz RFID technology. "Near-Field" or 
>> "inductive technology".
>> I don't know how how this translates.
>> A traditional "magnetic" beam-former would need to use some form of 
>> "magnetic conductive"  medium like ferrites, (the stuff that 
>> transformers and inductors use).
> I assume RFID tags are powered by some kind of low frequency 
> electromagnetic waves?  You would just need a grid of things to produce 
> a moving magnetic field like say electromagnets and software of course.
>> Reg
>> Geoffrey Ramadan
>> Kim Holburn wrote:
>>> On 2006 Oct 03, at 12:36 PM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:
>>>> Kim
>>>> Libraries are already using RFID for books and security. Though not 
>>>> in the way you described. A reader is either at the Counter or is in 
>>>> a "self check-out" systems.
>>>> check out.
>>>> http://www.dalibtech.com/
>>>> http://www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/Libraries/Structure/About/TheCentre.aspx
>>>> I assume you are joking about the clandestine reading?
>>> Not really, a flight of fancy more like.  With a directed magnetic 
>>> beam former and an rfid reader it wouldn't be too hard.
>>> It's hard to find non-technical stuff on beam-formers:
>>> http://www.embedded.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=60401726
>>> http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1990IPRSP.137..267Y
>>> http://www.innovative-dsp.com/products/ancapp.htm
>>>> Reg
>>>> Geoffrey Ramadan
>>>> Kim Holburn wrote:
>>>>> I have thought for a while that Libraries would be a great use. for 
>>>>> RFID  A reader at the door would mean you would just have to walk 
>>>>> out with the books and the library could automatically check them 
>>>>> out to you!  Also staff could locate a miscatalogued book much more 
>>>>> easily than now.
>>>>> On the other hand, for privacy reasons maybe it wouldn't be such a 
>>>>> good idea!!!  I clandestine reader at the door could tell someone 
>>>>> what you were reading - but then a government organisation wanting 
>>>>> that info could look up the database anyway and I seem to remember 
>>>>> a bill that allows ASIO to hack into databases and read and change 
>>>>> data legally.
>>>>> On 2006 Oct 03, at 11:13 AM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:
>>>>>> Roger
>>>>>> Most RFID inquiries our industry get (including us) are crap.
>>>>>> Most people have no real understanding of RFID and their 
>>>>>> applications, and even less understanding of the limitations, 
>>>>>> including Government Departments.
>>>>>> We generally find that solutions to customer issues can be found 
>>>>>> in other technology means, including barcoding or process changes.
>>>>>> I can quote you one example where a Government department wanted 
>>>>>> to RFID tag documents, thinking that they could wave a magic wand 
>>>>>> and locate them. What they really needed was a process change, as 
>>>>>> their work practices were extremely sloppy with no accountability.
>>>>>> However, there is a growing interest and applications in 
>>>>>> "non-human" asset management as indicated in the article.
>>>>>> There is a strong trend towards active RFID tags for "location 
>>>>>> based tracking" of assets. Hospitals and Mining being an excellent 
>>>>>> example of this type of applications. The assets are expensive 
>>>>>> (eg. Medical devices) which are very mobile and need to be located 
>>>>>> efficiently, therefore gaining better utilisation and lowering 
>>>>>> capital costs, while improving services.
>>>>>> In Government departments I suspect there is an interest in asset 
>>>>>> tracking of notebooks.
>>>>>> Regards
>>>>>> Geoffrey Ramadan, B.E.(Elec)
>>>>>> Chairman, Automatic Data Capture Australia (www.adca.com.au 
>>>>>> <http://www.adca.com.au>)
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au 
>>>>>> <http://www.umd.com.au>)
>>>>>> Roger Clarke wrote:
>>>>>>> SMH/Age Next Section
>>>>>>> 3 October 2006
>>>>>>> Not so smart
>>>>>>> Almost a third of Australian government agencies have set aside 
>>>>>>> money for RFID-related projects, despite knowing little about the 
>>>>>>> technology, a new survey has found.
>>>>>>> RFID is the short-range wireless technology used in 'contactless' 
>>>>>>> smartcards and e-passports.
>>>>>>> Consultants Booz Allen Hamilton interviewed people in 28 
>>>>>>> Canberra-based government departments.  Fewer than 10% had a good 
>>>>>>> understanding of RFID standards, although money had been 
>>>>>>> allocated for RFID projects.  Three-quarters of respondents plan 
>>>>>>> to investigate or use RFID within the next three years.
>>>>>>> [The local Booz site, which uses the suitably sceptical 
>>>>>>> domain-name 'bah', doesn't seem to provide any information on the 
>>>>>>> matter:
>>>>>>> http://www.bah.com.au/Whats_New/press_releases.htm
>>>>>>> [If anyone has any knowledge about what BAH thinks the 21 
>>>>>>> departments think they plan on doing with RFID, a posting to the 
>>>>>>> list, or an off-list note to me, would be appreciated.  There are 
>>>>>>> a few potential applications, e.g. in Defence Materiel;  but most 
>>>>>>> agencies don't actually do the kinds of physical things any more 
>>>>>>> that RFID is potentially useful for]
>>>>>>> __________________________________________________________________________ 
>>>>>>> In addition, the part of the Oz IT Section that operates purely 
>>>>>>> as a relay for Media Releases (IT Business) has a breathless 
>>>>>>> piece on RFID today.
>>>>>>> Fast track for radio tags
>>>>>>> Ben Woodhead
>>>>>>> Australian IT Section
>>>>>>> OCTOBER 03, 2006
>>>>>>> http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,20500547%5E15302%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html 
>>>>>>> AUSTRALIAN businesses are attaching radio frequency 
>>>>>>> identification tags to sheep, trains, heavy mining equipment and 
>>>>>>> nurses as they take advantage of the technology's ability to 
>>>>>>> track assets and people.
>>>>>>> ...
>>>>>>> [The report is completely lacking in scepticism.  That the 
>>>>>>> reporter is prepared to have his name on it is a testament to how 
>>>>>>> little self-respect many journos have these days.  Although I'd 
>>>>>>> better allow for the possibility that 'Woodhead' is a pseudonym, 
>>>>>>> intended to convey that the reporter thinks the same about this 
>>>>>>> kind of rubbish as the rest of us do.
>>>>>>> [Especially noticeable is the equivalent treatment of people and 
>>>>>>> things.  There's no distinction at all drawn between tracking and 
>>>>>>> controlling gamblers, nurses and prisoners and doing the same 
>>>>>>> thing to sheep, cattle, and mining and hospital equipment]
> --
> Kim Holburn
> IT Network & Security Consultant
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