Department stores attach radio frequency Identity, RFID, tags on their goods to ensure that, for instance, their DVD players go out the front door by way of the cash register rather than tucked down some light fingered granny’s bloomers. New versions of that technology have much to offer the maritime industry once it decides to put a premium on safety.
RFID tags contain tiny radio transmitters that can be picked up by a reader. Research being funded, among others, by BP, will see smarter versions appearing in the workplace that can, for instance, monitor work and rest periods, the amount of vibration a worker is exposed to by machinery and ensure that these remain within accepted limited for health. For seafarers, however, these little tell-tales could mean the difference between life and death.