The new retail era of online consumption and offline experience is coming, and the trend of unmanned stores has impacted traditional retail and e-commerce platforms, prompting the consumption model to move further towards a future that combines virtuality and reality. As one of the key technologies of unmanned stores, RFID technology has become a solution that can be used in the same way as computer vision.
Radio frequency identification is a wireless communication technology that has been developed since World War II. It uses radio signals for identification and has the function of reading and writing data. After continuous optimization and improvement driven by the application of the Internet of Things, today's technology has become quite mature and has expanded to different industries such as shoes and apparel, supermarkets, hotels, logistics, finance, access control, medical care, etc., such as world-renowned clothing brands ZARA, Uniqlo, Wal-Mart, Carrefour, etc. have introduced RFID tags in their products and warehouse management.
Different from the light-sensing principle of barcode and QR Code, the core technology of RFID is to embed the chip and antenna in the thin and short label interlayer, which not only provides one-to-many reading, repeated use, high storage capacity, and can be stored within 4 meters. You can easily collect information about commodities, logistics, warehousing, revenue, etc., as long as you scan with a reader, which does not require a power supply. It can not only achieve global warehouse management and logistics standardization, but also the back-end accumulates big data of consumption patterns and serves as an analysis of future marketing strategies.
At present, the development of RFID technology is quite mature, and the application scenarios have been generally integrated into the daily life of the people. For example, transportation stored-value cards such as Suica in Japan and Octopus in Hong Kong are embedding RFID tags in the cards. As long as there is a corresponding reader, that is, it can provide functions for people to store value, pay, public transportation, and check credit cards.
In today's most popular unmanned store issue, RFID technology can be used in identity recognition, electronic tags, checkout payment, anti-theft, etc. For example, Lawson convenience stores in Japan have begun to promote Reji Robo automatic checkout machines in some stores. Customers put RFID-tagged goods into a special shopping basket, and the cashier can quickly sense the price of the goods. Customers can choose to use cash or credit card. Automatic checkout, the bottom of the shopping basket will automatically open after the checkout, and the goods will fall into the bag below. From checkout to bagging, there is no need for clerk service at all, and the whole process only takes 15 seconds.
The current market’s concern about RFID tags is that the unit price is much higher than that of printed barcodes, and manpower is still required for label attachment or recycling, which does not seem to be cost-effective for products with low unit prices. In this regard, the personnel of Yuanwanggu Company proposed that RFID tags should be made from the product manufacturing end just like barcodes, which can not only reduce costs, but also save manpower. It is recommended that RFID tags and printed barcodes can be used together at the same time. For low-priced products such as beverages, barcodes will continue to be used in the near future; RFID tags will be used for medium-and high-priced products such as clothing, which will meet the ideal promotion scenario and can also save at the same time Manpower accelerates the automated process.
For the future development of RFID in unmanned stores, the market is quite optimistic. With the development of Industry 4.0 intelligent manufacturing and the new retail era, it will inevitably lead to a decline in the cost of RFID. However, RFID can be applied in a diverse range and will become more popular in the future.