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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

How Shawn Mendes and RFID Asset Tracking Technology Steal the Show Paul Golata

RFID Theme Image

Singer, Songwriter, Model, and Tech Promoter Shawn Mendes Integrates RFID Tracking Technology Into His Concerts

As an aging wannabe rock star, I still attend my fair share of music concerts. And, as a father of four daughters, I hear my share of the current music scene and who is on top.

Last week my youngest daughter walked into the house and announced, “Dad, I bet you cannot guess which concert I am going to tomorrow.” I replied, “You are correct; I cannot blindly guess. Who are you going to see?” She gleefully rejoiced, “Shawn Mendes!” I retorted, “The 22-year-old Canadian male model whose visage is plastered all across TigerBeat and such!” She responded, “No dad, the famous singer!”

I replied, “I am not so sure that is the opinion of many guys of my age. I think his appeal has a lot to do that he is easy on the eyes for you and all your friends.” “No, dad! It is because he is a great singer!” she snapped back. Employing my best dad wisdom, I just shook my head and smiled.

So this past weekend, my daughter and all her friends went to see Shawn live and in person.

The next day at lunch, I asked her how it went. She told me it was awesome. She said the coolest thing was not his singing or looks, but rather the cool concert bracelets they received when they entered the concert arena that played in sync with the music.

I said, “Oh, you mean you were given [light emitting diode] LED and [radio-frequency identification] RFID bracelets to wear? Those are really cool.” Since the discussion had just gone technical, my daughter obtained a deer-in-the-headlights look and stopped talking. For the next several minutes, I proceeded to tell her about LED RFID bracelets and how they operate.

Entertainers can use LED RFID wristbands to turn any performance into a custom light show designed exactly how they envisioned (Figure 1). Many LED RFID wristbands are Digital Multiplex (DMX) controllable—a standard for digital communication networks commonly used to control stage lighting and effects—via a laptop control system or through any DMX lighting board.

Figure 1: A representative example of a LED RFID Wristband. (Source: Mouser)

Shawn Mendes keeps fans rocking in perfect synchronization with an assortment of RFID products that transform his concerts into an interactive experience with his fans.

Molex RFID Tags

While concerts are fun, RFID tags are often employed in everyday applications other than keeping track of concert attendees like my daughter and her gang of friends. One company that is making sure you know where everything of yours is located is Molex. For many years, Molex has brought together innovation and technology to deliver electronic solutions to customers worldwide.

Molex utilizes RFID, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and other wireless communication technologies to support passive and/or real-time asset tracking, enabling cost-effective and accurate monitoring of valuable inventory and assets. RFID technology is particularly useful, in conjunction with an RFID reader, for communicating whether an asset is present or not.

Molex Passive RFID Tags are robust and able to withstand extreme temperatures (-50°C to +85°C operating temperature), vibration, and challenging environments (Figure 2). In industrial material transport, a low-profile footprint is essential. A low-profile footprint means more space, less damage, and ultimately, lower costs. Molex’s selection of low-profile RFID tags allows customers to optimize space by selecting the best form factor for their unique application.

Molex Passive RFID Tags

Figure 2: Molex Passive RFID Tags are reliable, ruggedized tags available in a wide range of size and read-range options to meet the unique performance requirements of a variety of applications. (Source: Molex)

Molex Passive RFID Tags feature size and read-range options that include tags smaller than a fingernail as well as tags large enough to be read from more than 15 meters away. These tags are ideal for manufacturing, construction, inventory management, and service/rental applications. Products and parts that manufacturers are interested in tracking can be made of a variety of materials. These IP67- and IP68-rated tags adhere to a variety of surfaces such as metal, insulated cables, glass, plastic, and other nonmetal material.

Molex has partnered with Alien Technology to offer a line of best-in-class readers to complete your RFID technology solution. Use Alien Technology RFID readers with Molex’s range of RFID tags for a solution-focused on ease-of-use, robustness, and performance. Alien Technology readers offer best-in-class read/write performance, cost savings through reduced external network infrastructure, and industry-leading intelligence and security.

So perhaps Shawn Mendes has more going for them than I initially gave him credit. Besides being a famous singer, songwriter, and model, he clearly shows us without missing a beat how RFID tracking is really cool technology, whether you are rocking out to the world or simply attempting to keep track of your assets.

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Paul Golata joined Mouser Electronics in 2011. As a Senior Technology Specialist, Paul contributes to Mouser’s success through driving strategic leadership, tactical execution, and the overall product-line and marketing directions for advanced technology related products. He provides design engineers with the latest information and trends in electrical engineering by delivering unique and valuable technical content that facilitates and enhances Mouser Electronics as the preferred distributor of choice.

Before joining Mouser Electronics, Paul served in various manufacturing, marketing, and sales related roles for Hughes Aircraft Company, Melles Griot, Piper Jaffray, Balzers Optics, JDSU, and Arrow Electronics. He holds a BSEET from the DeVry Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL); an MBA from Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA); an MDiv w/BL from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX); and a PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX).

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