RFID Guides Employees at Company Parking Lots

Several Asian companies are installing an RFID-based solution to manage their parking lots that will instruct staff members where to park, help them find available spaces and light their way through the lots during dark days or evenings.

The system, supplied by Taiwanese RFID solutions provider Yoke Int’l-Com Corp.—commonly known as Yoke RFID—employs active RFID tags that can be carried by employees or attached to their vehicles, and is designed to provide not only lighting control and parking instruction, but also access control and historical records of workers’ arrival and departure times.

To date, one firm—which has asked to remain unnamed—has installed the system at its Taipei location, where it has approximately 1,000 spaces in which staff members and visitors can park their cars before entering the office. That solution has been in place since January 2011. About five additional companies intend to install the system in Taiwan and Mainland China by the end of next year, says Wilson Ting, Yoke’s marketing director.

Yoke RFID displayed the technology at its booth at Taitronics 2011, the 37th Taipei International Electronics Trade Show, being held this week.

With the system, a company provides each employee with a battery-powered 2.45 GHz Yoke RFID tag that is approximately the size of a credit card, but measures about one-third inch thick. The tag includes an RFID chip and an antenna, which transmits its proprietary air-interface protocol transmission.

Yoke’s RFID readers, which can interrogate tags at a distance of up to 80 meters, are then installed throughout a parking lot. To make location tracking more precise, the system includes repeaters equipped with both RFID technology and LED lights, which are then mounted above every parking space. Each repeater has a built-in active 2.45 GHz RFID transponder, as well as a blue LED light used to illuminate a parking space.

As an individual arrives at the parking lot at the start of a work shift, a reader located at the lot’s entrance captures the tag’s ID number—which the tag transmits 120 times per minute—and Yoke RFID software forwards that information to data-management software that interprets and stores data culled from every RFID read.

Typically, the user’s software links the tag’s ID number with that person’s ID or name. Yoke RFID can also provide such management software, Ting says, which can sit on a user’s database or on a hosted Web-based server. In the case of the first deployment, at the lot in Taipei, the firm has acquired data-management software from a local Taipei systems integrator.

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