Future RFID
Development possibilities in the RFID / NFC technology

Introducing the Future RFID Project

The research can be divided into nine disjoint sub-projects (R1 – R9).

R1. Criticism – investigating the criticism of IoT

One of the main obstacles of the widespread usage of IoT technology is that the society is averse from technologies that reflect the Orwellian „The Big Brother is Watching You” nightmare. Thus in order for this technology – including all of its personal, social and economical benefits – to spread, current criticisms have to be analyzed or even extended by new cons, all for the purpose of reassuringly eliminating concerns to remove existing barriers.To accomplish this, we collect and classify the critical assumptions and use legal, critical and technological answers to prove that there is a direction in IoT research that will not lead to the pitfalls that are stated in current criticism.

R2. Digital ownership – availability of the right to privacy and ownership

In the world of „Internet of Things” RFID tags that are placed on objects or, in certain cases, on living things, provide information through the world wide web about the whereabouts of a particular tag at a given time. Information from tags belonging to humans – either directly or indirectly – may in fact be seriously harmful to personal rights. Thus R&D has a major role in this area. Wider application of the new technology has several advantages, although the danger of abusing personal rights must be kept at a sufficiently low level.The goal of this research direction is to investigate and elaborate the behavior of such RFID/NFC tags that – in addition to satisfying current and to-be standards – make it possible for the owner to control their response. Moreover, they should not respond to signals from unsafe transmitters.The research project is responsible for examining the potential of securing personal rights and the general possibility of endorsing data-management rights.

R3. Reliability – reliable identification of objects

In several areas of applications the most important expectation is to possess accurate information about some given properties of the object that is being identified. The key objective of this proposal is to prepare the participants for taking part in the European Union's “Horizon2020” framework project. One objective of high priority is food safety. The most important goal to be achieved in this area is to give foods a unique identification that can help in getting reliable information about their origin, quality, etc. (e-Pedigree). This information should evidently be made available prior to the purchase in the most convenient way possible (eg., with NFC-capable mobile phones). The research of this area makes it possible to develop appropriate methods and can help in the preparation for installing such a system. Moreover, it provides accumulated detailed knowledge for practical future installations. The Darányi-project which was announced recently and aims to give distinguished importance to domestic agricultural goods over foreign products of poor quality reflects the relevance of this research topic. The practical benefits of methods studied in this proposal go far beyond the questions of food safety, because the results can have applications in other areas (such as drug safety, animal identification, etc.) as well.

R4. Standardization – in order to improve interoperability and widespread usage

The RFID/NFC technology sends information about objects to higher network layers using various protocols and frequencies. One goal in this research is designing a layer that is capable of transmitting uniformly manageable information to layers at a higher level while eliminating the lower level varieties in the technology. The research will include testing the possible ways of integration of EPC-based RFID/NFC tags into the IPv6 system. Many research institutions are currently engaged in research in this area, but every existing proposal so far has significant drawbacks, thus they cannot be considered to be complete solutions to the problem. Our goal is to study methods that are based on current standards or propose extensions of them in order to to eliminate these drawbacks.

R5. Localization – possibilities of RFID-based localization

Our localization-related research aims to extend the original intended use of RFID technology. Originally, the presence/absence of objects with RFID tags can only be determined in a relatively large estimated area. Making use of more intelligent antennas and protocols in a middleware layer, RFID technology can be used to locate objects more accurately. This results in several new applications of the technology, some of which are yet unknown. The research will include studying the ways of changing the dynamic properties of antennas and developing algorithms that make use of data obtained from smart antennas that redundantly cover the area to determine the location of each object as accurately as possible. Due to researching the topic, we will propose an extension of the EPCGlobal RM (Reader Management) standard in which the locational ability is contained in the level of ReaderDevice (interrogator) instead of the level of ReadPoint object (antenna). In addition to this we develop a model with a general tree structure that enables the simulation of global positioning in an indoor environment.

R6. Sensors – integration of smart sensors

Current RFID technology only uses sensors on transponders that have their own power supply. However, passive transponders – without own power supply – are more common. Besides this, the casual and business use of sensors are spreading rapidly. There exist standards for transmitting data from sensors to system layers on a higher level (IEEE 1451 series – Smart sensors). Our goal is to examine under which circumstances is it possible to connect various sensors in an ad-hoc basis to passive transponders while taking advantage of existing standards, or even formulating recommendations for next generation transponders. A permanent solution now exists corresponding to the EPCGlobal C3 standard. The main advantage of smart sensors is due to their “self-defining” abilities and that they are easily configured, which enables them to be connected in an ad-hoc basis (Plug and Play). Apart from studying the possibilities of physical connection, it is necessary to redefine the C1G2 protocol's new functions. Fortunately, current standards enable the definition of new commands. We are currently experiencing a convergence of transponders and sensors in a direction to which this research area clearly fits.

R7. Hybrid technologies – combining RFID / NFC technology with other technologies

Reduction of collisions is very important in order to obtain a reasonable response time in a given environment that contains a large number of transponders. The current EPCglobal C1G2 protocol (LLRP) reduces the number of transponders in the INVETORY process by the SELECT procedure. However, there are other possible ways – e.g., optoelectronic solutions - to determine the selection of the transponder. Such a dual method can have significance from the point of power supply too, because reading from a distance or by a less sensitive reader is only possible if excess energy is provided. The research project's field is searching possible solutions and examining standard ways of their implementations.

R8. ROI – models of general ROI-calculation

For the widest possible usage of this technology it is crucial to calculate the pay-offs of RFID systems. For the business sector it is essential to prove with exact calculations that the investments will pay off in a reasonable time and there is evidence for profit afterwards. Currently application-specific calculations exist, but a general model is required which satisfies the widest possible range of economical and technological expectations and trends, including comparisons to technological alternatives.

R9. Applications – possible future applications of IoT technology

It is desirable to prepare a study of a range of possible applications using the results of the project. Some of them may already exist today, but the results can help in strengthening their accuracy, reliability or even reaching a higher quality in the services they provide. In addition to these there will be some areas of applications that have not yet allowed the usage of this technology because of an existing technological barrier which will hopefully be removed by using the results of theproject.