RFID devices which are progressively developing and getting cheaper are able to identify and track objects, persons or other living beings by a contactless, radio wave based method.
Current, barcode based identifiers are only readable if there is direct optical sight between the label and the reader device. The angle between the reader and the label can also affect the performance adversely.
The advantage of the RFID technology is the possibility to read identifier labels without physical contact or direct sight. Using appropriate antennae and technology an RFID solution can be also insensitive to the angle between the interrogator (reader) and the antennae on the labels. These parameters enable identifying objects tagged with RFID devices without using any man-power.
The shopping process starts when the customer steps into the shop. He takes a shopping basket or a trolley, gets all the goods he wants to buy, and then he advances to one of the checkouts. In ordinary shops, identification and pricing of the products takes place at the checkout. This solution has a great man-power demand, quite often it is slow, and uncomfortable situations may arise, for example if it turns out that a price was quoted erroneously at the shelves.
Automation of particular stages of the shopping process can help both partners to advantages: the customer saves time and the shop can achieve notable expense savings on labour.
The scope of my work is charting the possibilities of the automation, outline an RFID-enabled ’future supermarket’ concept, making a feasibility study of its most important human interface, an RFID-enabled shopping trolley and developing the trolley-related RFID handler software.