Future progressions in RFID technology
RFIDdirect have been immersed in the world of RFID identification and data capture for decades and have experienced diverse innovations with this technology serving many applications.
Today, enabled by Industry 4.0 connectivity, mobile terminals and streamlined via computable networks and internet, automatic data capture is common place.
Less about inventory management, data capture is progressively about generating reverse traceability of any individual product produced. Not only related to transport visibility in the logistic supply chain, but also for product life cycle management to satisfy circular economy sustainability and proof of provenance.
Paramount too, today’s manufacturing plant and supply chain demand instant (real-time) product authenticity, availability and, absolute data security.
Looking to future production developments – including AI and Blockchain – it’s all about efficiencies, the need to be modular, smart, scalable and more fully-connected than ever.
Trust, Transparency and Traceability
Blockchain technologies offer approaches to exchange value, represent digital assets and implement good practice in trust, transparency and traceability – a natural partner to RFID technology.
For example, RFID’s capability in supporting greater supply chain visibility is underpinning many solutions around the timely issues and global concerns about the future of how to collect, store, and access securely, large amounts of data on individual items or individuals.
Working in partnership with VeriTise
Invited to Work alongside VeriTise earlier this year, our combined aim, at @RFIDdirect, is now to create workable, affordable RFID/Blockchain-enabled applications for larger and SME enterprises.
Together with VeriTise, we can provide verification, identification, data capture and analysis services for companies and individuals. The critical factor to these functionalities is the VeriTise Enterprise-grade blockchain for its ability to transact and store data securely and immutably.
(In-depth technical detail is available here: https://veritise.com/whitepaper)
Case Study Concept: Creating COVID-19 passports with Blockchain security
Using this case study, we highlight the robust qualities and features of a Blockchain application without the ‘hype’.
This case study provides a basic concept and our own perspective on the opportunities of Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for international acceptance and authenticity of ‘COVID’ passports.
Blockchain has the potential to radically change many economic sectors and to enhance the enforcement of regulatory controls. Current information systems rely on databases where information is kept in separated silos. Companies and governments alike, hold individual digital books of records which, very often, require manual reconciliation activities. Lack of traceability and transparent accounting increase regulatory oversights. However, an inter-governmental shared, transparent ledger can and will increase the cooperation between regulators and regulated entities. So, Blockchain can become a shared data repository for European governments and beyond. It allows the move from post-transaction monitoring to on-demand and immediate monitoring. It also improves the capability of regulators to fulfil their mandate of ensuring the legality, security and stability of their systems.
Consequently, Blockchain technology makes it possible to provide access to auditable data which is verified, time-stamped and immutable. This access generates a transparent, interoperable environment where rules can be implemented, enforced and adapted.
The key is identification
Individual European countries have been contemplating the introduction of a ‘COVID’ passport as proof for vaccination against the disease. In the UK this development is a faced with robust political discussion about restrictions of liberty. To enhance security, a unique identification of each individual passport should be paramount. Unique identification can be achieved with using a QR-code barcode, alternatively with NFC (RFID) micro chip technology. The QR-code can include, beside the unique identification, an URL read instruction for the scanner (such as a mobile phone) opening a pre-set web-page holding information about the passport. The identification number itself can be encrypted to offer a higher level of security.
The NFC chip technology – a microchip with data processing capabilities – offers a higher level of encrypted security and a bi-directional communication between chipset in the passport and the backbone system based in the cloud.
Each set of data: passport-ID, date of passport, date of vaccination, country of origin, name of receiver (potentially in combination with personal national insurance number) ideally recorded in a tamper-proof and secure ledger in a private Blockchain.
Blockchain technology is a public or private decentralised peer-validated time stamped ledger which is distributed and publicly available to all participants who chronologically register all validated transactions. Valid transactions are then collected into blocks which are cryptographically sealed and interlocked – one on top of the other in a chronological sequence: a chain of blocks. In principle, participants do not even need to be humans; they can be autonomous agents operating independently from any human intervention.
Blockchain is a foundational technology that leads to the paradigm shift from ‘trusting humans’ to ‘trusting machines’ and from ‘centralized’ to ‘decentralized’ control.
Blockchain has been indeed defined by The Economist ‘The Trust Machine’. (2015).
COVID-19 Passport Identification enabled by blockchain
A passport can be produced in several physical formats, from quality material to simple paper format. The unique identifier is pre-produced and distributed to the distribution points for the passports in an electronical format. At the distribution points – vaccination centres – the unique and encrypted identifier is ‘married’ or linked with the personal data and dates. All steps in the process are in fact an ‘event’ registered in the Blockchain.
The identifier is printed as a QR-code and/or encoded in an NFC chipset embedded in the passport at local level, producing the physical passport format that suits the authorities.
The principle in schematic form is shown here:
By deploying ‘proven’ systems of reverse traceability data collection, public mistrust of information can be ameliorated whilst additionally and robustly meeting mandatory, auditable data demands. The principle is thus established as a principle of authenticity in the public consciousness. It is then translated across sectors to include product or ingredient provenance (proof of origin) or where brand loyalty and sales decisions may be in doubt. This way businesses meet more of their customer demands through visibility in global supply chains but also, through authentication.
Find out more about RFID and Blockchain as a solution
RFIDdirect and VeriTise are presenting and exhibiting at the leading conference and trade show for RFID and IoT – RFID Journal Live! September 26-28th 2021, Phoenix, Arizona, at booth #439.
VeriTise’s Frank Thijssen (live) and RFIDdirect’s Frits van Calker (remote) invite you for a presentation and live demo of this dynamic and super-secure traceability solution or, get in touch:
T: +44 (0)1352 752044
T: +49 (0)2821 748 3030