Here’s another alternative to the security-plagued RFID chips. It’s RuBee, the latest concept from the folks who brought you ZigBee and WiBree. The technical designation is IEEE 1902.1, but its developers call it RuBee, so I guess we will too.
The key word in that first paragraph was concept. We don’t have a finished product here, but we do have more than a starter set of an idea.
RuBee networks would use low-cost radio tags that could be read up to 50 feet away and below 450 kHz. The most important feature of RuBee, in comparison to RFID, is that RuBee chips could be read, tracked, and inventoried in the harshest of conditions, like near metal and water and electromagnetic noise—three things that RFID particularly have trouble with. RuBee data can also be transmitted straight to an Internet database.
It’s that adaptability to harsh conditions that makes RuBee an alternative to RFID. RuBee certainly won’t win any speed awards, since RFID is designed to be quick and dirty yet accurate. Still, RuBee chips don’t cost near what RFID chips do (at the moment) and can certainly fill the gap between personal area networks and RFID.