RFID Technology Helps Parents Find Lost School Uniforms

- Jun 11, 2018-

The Australian company RagTagd recently introduced a solution to help school parents track their school uniforms. Each uniform costs only US$1.5. The RagTagd solution is to place a collection box with a passive UHF RFID reading function on the school lost-and-found area, while attaching a tag on the school uniform. The software on the RagTagd server tracks the contents of the box every day and sends the information to the parents.

The collection box has a built-in Jadak ThingMagic module and a 3G transmitter. The company's co-founder Eugene Holdenson said the solution is very simple. Both founders did not have any background in RFID technology. When the company was founded in 2015, both founders were only 23 years old. He said that this may be the beauty of this solution. The founder can solve a pain point by simply modifying the reader and label.

When Holdenson went to college and did some volunteer work at a local elementary school lost and found, that idea was born.

The company said that the loss of items in the global school is a common thing. Students wear their coats to go to school and often forget to get them back when they are playing in the playground. By the end of the school year, unclaimed items are usually discarded, causing waste.

In order to solve this problem, Holdenson considers printing the QR code on the school uniform and then scans it. However, QR code scanning requires school staff to increase their movements and is therefore inconvenient. Therefore, the company considers using UHF RFID technology. With the built-in card reader and tagged clothing, school staff do not need to do anything. Simply put clothes into the box.

At the end of 2015, RagTagd developed the first prototype. A more effective version was developed in April 2016 and tested at the Roseville Public School in New South Wales. The company has attached a label on the school uniform and parents need to pay an additional $1.50 for the labeled item.

Using the RagTagd system, the company sews off-the-shelf UHF RFID tags into garments and sells them to parents, with unique ID codes.

Parents need to activate the tag when purchasing school uniforms. This process does not require an additional download of the application. Parents simply send the six-character code information printed on the label to complete the pairing. The collection box is a plastic box with a built-in RFID reader and antenna that allows the data to be transmitted directly to RagTagd's server.

Holdenson said that RagTagd collects tag IDs every 24 hours. This application scenario does not require high real-time performance. The system reads the tag every midnight and the software parses the data. At 7:30 the next morning, text messages will be automatically sent to these parents' mobile phones. So far, the system has recovered 6,000 kinds of items.

Holdenson said that after testing at Roseville Public Schools, the company began contacting other schools. 30% of the contacts signed a technical cooperation agreement. This month, the company signed an agreement with Spartan School Supplies, the largest school uniform wholesaler in Australia, to sell school uniforms with RagTagd RFID tags.