Mister Beacon Episode #65

RFID vs. Bluetooth: Is One Better for IoT?

February 12, 2018

RFID vs Bluetooth - It's a debate that will go on for some time as the technologies continue to improve and change. In this conversation with Mike Kastner we dive into the controversy to discover if there are any ways that we can understand the two technologies comparatively without feeling that we have to jettison either one. It's a lively conversation that focuses on the pros and cons of each technology and the wide range of applications that can be considered for each one. If you or your company is looking for the right technology to meet a new situation you're facing, this episode should be very helpful for you.

Transcript

  • Narration 00:01

    The Mr. Beacon podcast presents RFID versus Bluetooth with guest, Mike Kastner. The Mr. Beacon podcast is brought to you by Wiliot, scaling IoT with battery free Bluetooth.

    Steve Statler 00:18

    So, Mike Kastner, thanks so much for coming on to the show, I'm really excited to have you for many reasons we met a few weeks ago, and you've got this amazing background in the RFID. space. And for ages, I've wanted to do a show about RFID versus Bluetooth. And when we first met, you actually did a pretty good impersonation of someone who had read my book, and you pointed out that it's a Bluetooth beacon book. But we talked about RFID. And I, and the goal of this show, and the book was to really give ammunition and a resource to solution designers, which could be a conventional technology architect, or it could be a sales guy or an entrepreneur. And I think figuring out when you're going to use one tool versus another is really central to designing good solutions and being successful. And it's a question it's a big question. When do I use RFID? And when do I use Bluetooth. And so that's what we're going to talk about. And you are absolutely qualified to go toe to toe on this Smackdown between these technologies, because I think because of your background, because you worked in impinge, who sent me semiconductor maker, amongst other things. So you've seen RFID from the chip side, and from your time at modex, you've seen it from the infrastructure side, as well. And you've been a very Senior Vice President responsible for sales, so you know where it's a good fit and where it's not a good fit. And you've also been responsible for services and making this stuff work. So I can't think of a better person to have on the other side of this table.

    Mike Kastner 01:58

    Well, thank you. And I must return the compliment, as it is an honor to be sitting here with Mr. Beacon, who is the very authority of everything BLE and beacon technology related. So I look forward to a spirited discussion.

    Steve Statler 02:13

    All right, okay. And we probably won't come to blows. And we may actually end up agreeing on everything. But I'm hoping there's going to be some disagreement, because that's going to make it interesting. Let's start off by defining terms. So RFID is a big umbrella. And someone who's going to new to that world. Can you explain to me, what does that umbrella encompass?

    Mike Kastner 02:37

    There are some variations of RFID technology. And fundamentally, you can break them into three different frequency bands by which they operate. So there's low frequency, and solutions, they're typically run at 125 kilohertz. Those solutions have a read range of up to 10 centimeters, and are have a lower data rate, but tend to be more robust in environments where there's interference from metal and liquids.

    Steve Statler 03:08

    So is that like the tags we use to get into the door of our office?

    Mike Kastner 03:13

    Access control is a very large application for LF or low frequency technology. That's correct. Okay. Yeah. Cool. So that's LF, then there's HF, right? And that is high frequency. And the high frequency technology is in the 30 to 300 megahertz range. And systems they're typically operate in at 15 Point or 13.56 megahertz. They have the benefit of giving you a higher data rate and a bit longer reading different distances up to one meter. What about the car keys? What are they actually that would be HF, okay. And ticketing is a very popular application. Also near field communications, or NFC is a high frequency or HF technology.

    Steve Statler 04:08

    So, so give me an example of a ticketing application with HF.

    Mike Kastner 04:12

    Well, your subway tickets that you would, okay purchasing right and use that for access. It's generally a near field application.

    Steve Statler 04:21

    And so you mentioned NFC, which is typically associated with a tap but normally the tap is like, you're like literally tapping you're not doing it from a distance.

    Mike Kastner 04:32

    That's correct. And NFC has its own unique protocols, but it does operate at that 13.56 Okay, megahertz.

    Steve Statler 04:42

    So we're going up the frequency spectrum, what was the next step?

    Mike Kastner 04:45

    Then you have ultra high frequency, UHF UHF technologies and they operate in the 860 to 960 megahertz band, typically at 900 or 915 megahertz and up They offer that UHF technology offers the largest read range, typically around 10 meters, although there are some systems that can read it in greater distances, and so that have that advantage. The downside for UHF technologies post two, LF or HF is that their most susceptible to interference challenges to liquids, or reflections in environments where there's lots of metal. However, over time, there have been some nice innovations and that enable there to be tags that can read near metal or near water fairly, fairly well in the UHF domain.

    Steve Statler 05:42

    Oh, cool. So 800 900 megahertz, is there any guidance in terms of when that particular band is used? Is it like a regional thing?

    Mike Kastner 05:55

    Well, actually, yes. So there's the FCC and et Cie, really kind of had the defenses zero? Yeah, that's correct. The between the 800 or 909 15 megahertz beyond that. It's one of those two frequencies.

    Steve Statler 06:11

    Okay. And I'd heard that 2.4 gigahertz there's a RFID. Standard there. But that seems to be less common right there. That's correct. And, of course, 2.4 gigahertz is where my world comes in the world of Bluetooth, although actually, I'd like to say I feel like my I'm trying to make my world much broader. Because these are like different tools in the toolbox. Right? It's not like one's better than the other will. But I think one is better than another for a specific application. But it'd be like saying, you know, our chisels better than saws, it's just different tools. And the key thing is, when you use one versus the other. So what is rain? UHF

    Mike Kastner 06:57

    rain is an alliance that has been formed to standardize and bring more attention to the EPC, global UHF gen two UHF protocol. And, and so it's it bringing brand and image to marketing muscle to the UHF RFID domain.

    Steve Statler 07:23

    So let's talk about the readers of this technology, you've got tags, and you've got readers. And I'd like to figure out, you know, let's position the difference between typical Bluetooth reader and an RFID. Reader. There's more than one kind of RFID reader out there, isn't it?

    Mike Kastner 07:43

    Yes, that's That's correct. You have two general categories. For readers, there's a fixed readers, and there's portable readers. So a fixed reader would be generally fixed in a single position, there's different variations of those types of readers. A very common one is a four port reader that can read up to four or support up to four antennas, there's others that are in the category of wide area reader systems, where you can either network a series of readers together in an overhead grid formation to cover a large space and be able to activate all the tags and read all the tags in that space at one company magicks has the ability to partition the transmit from the receive. So in that case, you are using essentially lower cost antennas to just activate the antenna, or the tags and therefore a and one or a few receivers to be able to receive the signal from from those. So those are all variations of fixed readers.

    Steve Statler 08:48

    So you have the reader which is the radio.

    Mike Kastner 08:50

    That's right.

    Steve Statler 08:51

    And it could unlike the world of Bluetooth, where typically the reader and the antenna are intertwined because they're in a phone, or maybe they're in a hub, UHF RFID seems to be a lot more modular, we could have a bunch of antennas up in the ceiling that are all connected to a single reader via coax. Is that how it works?

    Mike Kastner 09:13

    In the case of the magic system? Yes, that's that's accurate. There are other Wide Area solutions that essentially use individual readers that are integrated into the antenna and then connect them by Power over Ethernet or Ethernet cables in a grid formation. So there's two different approaches that are typically out there for wide area coverage systems.

    Steve Statler 09:39

    And if I've got an antenna, if I've got four or eight antennas that are talking to one reader, does the reader know which antenna has seen a tag? Can I or does it all look the same to them?

    Mike Kastner 09:52

    It depends on on the system but generally yes the you can. So when you place these readers in a grid formation, it is possible to develop algorithms that can take advantage of either the radiometric information from the tag or understanding which antennas are firing at different times to approximate the location of the tag. And so you, you know, some leverage RSSI. Others use other other approaches. But essentially, there is a proximity of tag to receive antenna or antenna that's firing that that can be used to determine location.

    Steve Statler 10:37

    All right, and how big are these antennas because my image in my mental image of these readers is that pretty big.

    Mike Kastner 10:46

    Most readers can leverage a variety of antennas and, and so you can optimize a system designed to leverage to control the field of the antenna pattern by leveraging certain types of antennas. But generally speaking, RFID readers UHF rain RFID, readers will leverage a patch or Lotus patch antenna that's maybe 10 inches by 10 inches, there are some array type solutions that integrate a array antenna with a reader. And in those cases, the form factor will be a bit larger.

    Steve Statler 11:24

    Does size go with the cost? I'm sitting here, I'm kind of holding on to the fact that I can have a $50 android phone that can be reading, obviously, it's gonna have that's portable. So maybe that's not a fair comparison. But if I've got a Bluetooth reader, this will be like a hub, from any number of companies missed from Cooper. There's a whole bunch of the players out there. Those are, you know, maybe $500 cost for a centralized unit. So it's not the same thing, but it's how much am I going to be spending if I want to cover a room and invest in the RFI the infrastructure?

    Mike Kastner 12:08

    Well, if we look at kind of going, jumping a bit ahead as to when you might choose Bluetooth versus Rain RFID, what the fundamental difference is in the cost of the tagging sensors, themselves, so.

    Steve Statler 12:26

    Well that's where you have a huge advantage. So the cost of the tags is really, really low. And so if we look at pricing out the solution, then it really depends what's going to be the cheaper, but generally speaking, my perception is that the RFID infrastructure is is more substantial, and it costs more and it takes more to install.

    Mike Kastner 12:47

    That's right, so an RFID reader that is a fixed reader versus a portable reader, you know, could be in you know, it's in the hundreds of dollars, right? It could be around $800 could be, you know, $1,200, some somewhere in that that range. If it's a wide area system where they're integrating the antenna in and a reader together, then it could be a bit higher, then you've got to factor in, you know how many of those readers you're going to need to cover, a system solution could be that you're looking at nearly presence detection, and you want to place our antennas and the readers that drive them around choke points. And you may need just a few fixed readers, it could be that you need 10s, or possibly hundreds of antennas, in which case we're talking about a much more involved and costly system.

    Steve Statler 13:43

    And this is typically coaxial deployment.

    Mike Kastner 13:47

    In the case of the magic system, they leveraged coax cables to connect the antennas and associated devices back to the reader. Others leverage Ethernet cable, so cat five cable for both the power and the control for the devices that are essentially connected together.

    Steve Statler 14:10

    Sowith that, would you be able to leverage the same infrastructure that's being used for the Wi Fi access points? Are you having a separate?

    Mike Kastner 14:18

    It would be a separate system, generally speaking, although there are some products on the market that do include Wi Fi access point.

    Steve Statler 14:30

    All right. It's such a diverse market that it's really tough to generalize, but we are going to generalize and kind of if we were to take a snapshot now I think anyone who's doing the mental arithmetic is saying, Wow, this is a lot more money and Bluetooth but we're going to come on to some other things that kind of balance it out later. So but let's finish off the reader space. So we've you've given an overview of the fixed readers. And you talked about choke points, I guess there's these gateway things. It's another kind of fixed reader that you I think alluded to a little bit.

    Mike Kastner 15:02

    System configuration utilizing a fixed reader, right?

    Steve Statler 15:06

    If I'm gonna have a conveyor belt with a gateway around it is that what sort of ballpark is that?

    Mike Kastner 15:11

    Well, again, it depends on how many read points you need for that particular use case, to give you the data that's required could get away with a single reader could require multiple readers.

    Steve Statler 15:22

    Okay. So that's that, let's talk about the portable readers.

    Mike Kastner 15:26

    So the other category would be handheld or portable readers. And there's a variety of solutions out there. Often the they combined a barcode with RFID scanner into a single device could be a standalone industrialized unit, it could be a sled that could adopt a mobile phone as the user interface, it's even possible to purchase attachments for a smartphone that can give you our RFID read capabilities.

    Steve Statler 15:58

    Seems like that would be quite reasonably priced, quite low priced. But what I my sense is that you can spend 1000s of dollars on on a handheld reader, why would you go for sprint, so what give us a sense of the price range and why we might go to one versus the other end of that spectrum?

    Mike Kastner 16:17

    Yeah, so generally, in rain, RFID, the use cases are in industrial, retail, and other places where you may need a ruggedized form factor. Also, there is, you know, software value added software that is bundled in, you know, with these devices. So there is, you know, more value than just the pure hardware of the reader in many of these devices. So they typical, typically, you know, can be in the, you know, 1000 to $2,000 range for a handheld device. But generally you need fewer of them than you would in a fixed infrastructure scenario.

    Steve Statler 16:57

    Is that just the general move to having adapters to go on to Android phones? Or is it that need for robustness and all that other value added stuff that's still keeping the, the dedicated device market?

    Mike Kastner 17:11

    Yeah, the the Android or iOS, you know, RFID attachments, if you will, for those, those mobile devices have been around for a while. And they certainly haven't hit mainstream to my level of visibility there. I think generally, in retail, industrial and other applications. They're, they're using more of the ruggedized or sled approach to portable handheld devices.

    Steve Statler 17:39

    So up till now we've got a technology infrastructure that is significantly more expensive than than Bluetooth, I would say. But it has some qualities, which kind of the Bluetooth doesn't have. And one of the things that really struck me was I was on a meeting the other day, and someone was from the RFID world was asking about Bluetooth, because my day job is we have a product that's kind of combining the two. And so they're like, Okay, well, so what's the rewrite for Bluetooth? Like, what is the read rate for Bluetooth, and it's just not something we talked about. We talked about transmit rate all the time in terms of beacons. But read rate is one of the parameters that you guys, it's kind of part of the basic currency and dimensions of a system. So explain to me, what is read rate? And typically, what are the range of rewrites that you see and why is that important?

    Mike Kastner 18:38

    You know, I think an important distinction to make is leading into that question is, when we're talking about beacon technology, we're often talking about proximity, location and proximity technology, right, yeah. Whereas, in So, in that case, the primary use case or application is knowing when someone in their iOS device or Android device is coming within range of a beacon. Whereas in RFID, the paradigm to think about there is with rain RFID the primary focus is item level tracking of inventory of assets and people and in that scenario, the tag detect rate or the read rate is in fact a very important factor for consideration of your RFID system. So if you are looking to replace or improve the inventory accuracy in a in a brick and mortar retail store, which might be using barcode every three to six months to for the purposes of inventory tracking, their average inventory, accuracy at any given time could be 70% 60 70%. But with rain RFID You have the potential to get that accuracy up into the 98 99% accuracy. Now, in RFID, and as I mentioned earlier, rain RFID being ultra high frequency is more susceptible to interference. And therefore, if you think about a typical retail environment, or a warehouse, there could be many points of reflection, things that metal and other things that can cause multipath signals. And in that environment, you can have tags that are find themselves in an RF know where you're not able to read that particular tag at that given time. Now, it could be that someone walking by is enough, just that factor is enough to change the RF dynamic so that you're able to read that tag at a different instance. Or people may be shuffling through inventory. But this is when people are talking about what is the read rate of Bluetooth? Or what is the read rate of RFID? This is these are the factors that are the considerations that they're that they're concerned about.

    Steve Statler 21:11

    So reraise is basically how many tags can my reader read in a second. And it seems to me that correct?

    Mike Kastner 21:20

    Or how many tags aren't able to read at all, right? In the scenario I just described where a tag could be in a novel, it may not be readable for hours.

    Steve Statler 21:31

    Well, let's make sure that people really understand what this now is. So we kind of think of these radios as broadcasting out this fear of radio radiation. But that's actually not how it works. And in the book, we have a picture of a delicious powdered donut as a way of explaining how this works in the Bluetooth world where there's, it's kind of this, this satin type was doughnut shaped. And so. So if we're looking through the doughnut, you can see nothing. So if there's a tag that is attached to a piece of apparel, a sweater a jersey that's on a shelf in a store, potentially, the reed is up here, and the hole in the doughnut is pointing right at it. And what you're saying is, actually, we tend to think about multi pathing and interference as being a bad thing. But maybe that will work. For us, in some cases where the signal that might not have been detected by the reader is going to bounce off someone that is walking past in the part of the doughnut that solid, and it will end up being read by the reader.

    Mike Kastner 22:36

    That's correct, what you have to keep in mind is in rain RFID. There's no power source for the tag. So the tag is entirely reliant on capturing enough signal strength that's transmitted from the reader to power up that tag and have enough energy to send a signal back to the reader. So if you in some reader systems, they're more susceptible to any interference that could occlude maybe the direct line of sight, if you will, of that RF signal. And if there's a metal barrier between the tag and the reader itself, it's going to cause reflections, and maybe there's enough reflected energy that gets to the tag to wake it up and send a signal back, maybe there's not, you know, it could be the case that with the multipath signals that you have just like a sinusoid, the signals actually working against each other and cancelling each other out and you're not going to get any any RF signal to that tag in that particular spot, you could move it over just a few centimeters, and there, it's all sudden it's out of that null, and it's enough to wake it up.

    Steve Statler 23:48

    So the reader is providing the energy. So it needs to have a bunch of batteries associated with it ought to be wired into the into the power through the coax or whatever the cabling is, so that it can send out a carrier wave, just a strong signal, and then it'll get backscatter will essentially reflect back the signal to the reader. And for this reason, you're, what's the benefit of that in terms of the tags cost? Okay.

    Mike Kastner 24:20

    Right, and no pot, no battery source. Now there are we didn't talk at the top of the show about the fact that there's active RFID, which would have its own transmitter and power source. There's passive which I just talked about. And in the context of rain, we're talking about passive tag. There's also a category called battery assisted passive, which does have a battery in the tag, but it basically only uses that battery when there's an RF signal from a reader in the range and that can help extend the rain. But going back to our point of discussion here.

    Steve Statler 24:59

    So got active, passive batteries, just battery assisted passive bass in the past, okay. And that can be used for like keeping sensors. detail, we will move that to the side. That's another show. Yeah. So let's get back to the price of the, the tags. That's what it was yes, yeah, the cheaper because there's no batteries. Right, right. And they can be smaller and the actual production processes that is different you don't have a printed circuit board, you know, Bluetooth, we have a printed circuit board, we have a chip where soldiering things together. That's right, there is no soldering, you guys are gluing your stuff together acting spat out of a big mobile machine, which is, like, quite expensive, but basically like a huge photocopier that's producing these things at an incredible rate. Yeah, so the cost is lower. How low is low?

    Mike Kastner 25:52

    Well, we're talking about a simple label tag where, where you're basically sandwiching, a RFID. Chip and an antenna between a label and an adhesive surface of surface, we're talking about pennies, right? With no battery to maintain over time or change.

    Steve Statler 26:15

    So if I'm buying like 1000 of these, if I'm buying 1000 of these Am I can I get them for like 15 cents? 1215 cents? If I'm buying 1000? Probably that's right. And if I'm buying millions and billions, then I'm guessing I can well sub 10 cents or less. Yeah, that's right, I've read some five cents for the people that are buying billions, there's a few retailers that are in that kind of space. And there's a few CPG companies, what is incredible.

    Mike Kastner 26:42

    That one of the advantages of rain technology, right is, is because it's a passive technology, you can leverage just the chip in a simple label, you can attach it to a substrate, you could package it any way that you want for specific use case. So there are hard tags out there for industrial purposes that can take an AK 47. Right, they're hardened. Now those tags may be, you know, one to $3. Right. So it's more of a function, the packaging than it is the silicone costs, or even the antenna technology in most cases.

    Steve Statler 26:58

    So the way you framed it, I think was kind of probably the way it the Indus, the Bluetooth industry in the RFID industry, I think had kind of staked out their camps and RFID had really gone into the asset tracking, and Bluetooth was about stationary beacons and location and then your phone's waking up, it sees the beacon you can do Wayfinding. And in my mind, hands down, Bluetooth is superior for that proximity marketing, where you're talking to a handset, but things have changed. And actually, the Bluetooth industry is now moving from just beacons to tags. So things that move and are attached to, to mobile assets. And I think our Bluetooth industry is seeing this huge pot of gold and the value of getting into the into the asset tracking space. And maybe we don't quite know what we're getting into there. So I'm going to put a stake in the ground and I'm going to say Bluetooth is clearly superior in terms of that proximity use case where someone's got their phone, and they don't have any sleds or anything and they just want the phone to see the the beacon it's going to wake up there at Would you give me that?

    Mike Kastner 28:36

    I will give you that.

    Steve Statler 28:37

    Okay, so but now we're moving into the Bluetooth guys are getting greedy. And they're seeing all this this prospect of not just selling a few 100 beacons, but 1000s of beacons, and now they're mobile. So they're, we're calling them tags. So you know, what, what is it that we don't know? Where is it that you think that Bluetooth is weak in that environment?

    Mike Kastner 29:01

    Well, if we're talking about presence or location tracking of assets, right, then you need something to collect that information. And in RFID, you have readers either to an active or a passive solution in Bluetooth technology, and we're looking at BLE beacons, right that can be I think there are people looking at leveraging that in RTLs applications. But again, if you need to record the location of multiple assets in a physical area, right, then is something that needs to read that information. It's not a matter of I'm transmitting in sync signal, and you've come into range of the signal, right, right, that does it. So you mentioned earlier in the podcast quip I pronounced that correctly as CO Got an innovation? Yeah, right. And they're able to accurately determine the location of a beacon. But what did you also say? You said that they have a fixed infrastructure device that would be equivalent to a reader, you said it was around $500. So now we're talking about that being somewhat in the range, right of fixed infrastructure, RFID reader, okay. Then on top of that, you have the cost of the beacon or the the, the Bluetooth device itself. So if we're looking in comparing that to rain, where we simply have a chip on a piece of an a label, and it costs pennies, you're talking about a printed circuit board and in a power source, and reliability issues related to all of those things over time, and you have replaced batteries, and a cost factor. So there's, I don't doubt that there are some use cases that you can look at where maybe finer precision of the location or maybe to the need to be tracking high high assets that are moving at high speed, where a solution, like this clip might be preferable, and I'm sure there are going to be other innovations. So I imagined that there's going to be some space for BLE beacons in RTLs. And in other asset tracking spaces, and but without a doubt, rain RFID is going to maintain its place where the number of assets that are being tracked in a given area is high because of the lower tag costs. And because there are a number of ways to skin the cat in terms of tracking those assets, you can have two or three handheld devices. And that may be all you need for scanning an entire retail store or entire warehouse, you can set up choke points, that, you know, as tagged assets traveled from one point to another point, it generates an alert and you now know what's in new zone. And you could have a full wide area system where you that the nature of that real time reading of tags has distinct value. And in understanding the location and the movement of the location understanding being able to track state changes of those those assets in software, where the there's there's clear value in a more expensive infrastructure based solution. Yeah, right. So there's a you don't necessarily need to assume that because a reader may be $800 or $2,000, that the infrastructure costs are going to be prohibitive in our RFID solution. Now, if you just have a very few number of assets, right? In that type of scenario, a beacon approach may be in fact, a lower cost approach.

    Steve Statler 33:04

    Yeah, I think that there's clearly a spreadsheet, you could build that that looks at that the proportion of the tag con cost versus the infrastructure, I'm going to assert that the BLE infrastructure is a lot cheaper, because it isn't just your $500 readers and there's a range there's Fathom is another one of the players in that space that I was searching for. And so their their price range, I would say goes from maybe three to $600. But you also have this other class of reader from companies like contact IO. And who knows, maybe even estimate where they're basically talking about less than $100. For a reader that can read these tags, I'm going to say that it's generally speaking a lot cheaper, and the accuracy vary significantly. And I think that's one of the things where you have to look at individual providers on both sides. But I'm going to assert that getting high accuracy from Bluetooth is something that it's reasonable now, but it's going to get a lot better as angle of arrival technology, which could be used, and other people claim they use as well. It's going to be in the Bluetooth standard this year. I that's what we expect. And so I think there's going to be just this incredible, highly accurate real time positioning of assets. And there's a modest number of them, then clearly Bluetooth is the way to go. But if you want very high performance reading a very large number of assets, then I would concede that RFID is in in good shape, because you guys do talk about read rates in the 1000s per second. And we don't even have that. I bet you if you looked in the spec sheet of most of the Bluetooth hubs, they wouldn't say what the read rate is because they just don't think about it in those terms. They're not thinking about I'm tracking sweaters in a Benetton or a retail environment like that. Okay, we didn't get the fisticuffs, let's see. So it's probably time to summarize. So it seems to me looking at what you guys have been doing an RFID, you actually have better are I think you have better RF characteristics. Because your, the spectrum you're using is basically has better propagation. Maybe there's some issues because of the low power nature, maybe, maybe we can win a little bit in the Bluetooth world where we have a strong battery. So there's maybe some advantages there. I would say, the ecosystem of providers in the Bluetooth world is pretty amazing, because we're starting off with handsets that are being sold in their millions. And I think these lower costs, hubs are really going to take off, but I can't predict the extinction of the RFID business, I actually think that that's going to grow. Where do you see RFID? Going is RFID flourishing, or is it stagnant?

    Mike Kastner 36:10

    No, it's absolutely flourishing. I mean, what I've observed is a steadily rising tide of the adoption of rain RFID, and a very large number of industries, and an infinite variety of use cases. I mean, generally, it boils down to tracking inventory assets and people. But if you look at the creative ways that are being used to deploy RFID, and you know, in healthcare, and logistics, in manufacturing, in the energy sector, in retail libraries, it goes on and on and on. And without a doubt, you just see more and more adoption continuing. So we don't see that slowing?

    Steve Statler 36:59

    Well, I think this has been a great start to the conversation in the debate about where to use one technology versus another. So Mike, thanks very much for coming in. And helping us get a bit smarter about that. One thing I do predict is that there's all sorts of things that we won't have covered, and that there's going to be really smart people out there that will want to tell us that. And I welcome that on the YouTube channel, on Twitter, on Facebook, people should chime in and tell us where we miss something and where the gaps are. And it's a fascinating subject.

    Mike Kastner 37:31

    Thank you very much to you.

    Steve Statler 37:39

    So we have two drummers in the room, you and don't. That's right. So no shortage of musical interest. Have you been able to get down to the three songs that you would take tomorrow?

    Mike Kastner 37:49

    I have. And thank you for asking. I think it's wonderful that you end every show with this question that's near and dear to my heart, a topic near and dear to my heart. So I thought about it and came up with the three that I would take on a mission to Mars. I think that's right, that's what we're looking for here. So the first would have to be a song from the artists that I've probably listened to more than any other artist in my lifetime just in terms of over the decades and it never gets tired to me. And that's a jazz artist named Pat Metheny. I'm sure most people know who that is. Yeah, we'll do. And there's something about his music that really appeals to me, it's great background music, so I can have it on while I'm working right. And of all his songs, I would choose the song, First Circle. And that song features an artist that he has in the band that sings vocals, but it's Oh, it's there's no words, no lyrics. It's it's though it's an instrument. And that particular composition evokes a very positive spirit, a lot of high, great energy. And that vocal as an instrument that I just described, is something that if, by chance I should encounter any extraterrestrial life forms it might give I'd like them to communicate the soul of the human spirit are in a way that they could understand that music, so.

    Steve Statler 39:18

    Not only the vocabulary, but they'll get the essence of the humans exactly from that vocalization. Right? I first started listening to Pat Metheny, back in the mid 80s, early 80s, I was in college, and I got into this habit of playing it after parties and so my friends said, Oh, this is your hangover music, isn't it? Right? Are you meaningful to me too, okay, so that's number one.

    Mike Kastner 39:40

    And number two, I had to pick a song that would evoke the raw spirit and anger and energy of rock and roll to the core. Right and there's a million considerations but I I ended up with God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols, nice and raw and energy and then I have to have that With me, yeah. And then for the third selection given that I can only bring you three I figured I should pick a song that would take an entire album site or longer so that at least I can get the most music out of my, my mission. And so I started thinking about okay, what songs I really liked that was it consuming entire album side I considered mountain jam by the Allman Brothers Band has a drum solo in it, so that would be cool. In fact, I think it's two album sides. It considered close to the edge by Yes, but I ended up with another one of my favorite bands growing up I loved prog rock Genesis, so I'd pick suppers ready by Genesis.

    Steve Statler 40:41

    All right, so that was that early Genesis early with Gabriel.

    Mike Kastner 40:44

    That's correct. That's correct. Although I choose the version on the live album seconds out, which has full confidence. So there's my three songs.

    Steve Statler 40:53

    And I just got to ask you about the Sex Pistols as a drummer. Do you listen to their drumming? The drumming? I can't remember the name of the drummer. But was he any good? Or was it just like raw enthusiasm?

    Mike Kastner 41:04

    You know, the thing about punk music is it was the first form of music that you didn't have to be good. To be wonderful. Yeah. And that's what inspired so many kids to do it because they realize I just need to have the spirit and go do what I can do. Whatever that is with no technical chops whatsoever, and make great music. It's all about the anger and the energy. So there you go.

    Steve Statler 41:28

    Ah, well, I spent the weekend listening to interviews with a music selected by a guy called John Peale. Who people in this country probably won't know but he was the Radio One DJ, which was the time the only national radio station. He was the Radio One DJ that broke the Sex Pistols. He also broke David Bowie and Pink Floyd. Yes. And it was just I was so admire him because he was like all into this long hair stuff. And then punk came along. And he just switched and he completely jettisoned his old audience and he was an older guy, but he just recognized that raw energy and he loved it. So I've got so much respect for him. Very good. Thanks for your three songs.

    Mike Kastner 42:13

    Thanks for asking.

    Steve Statler 42:14

    All right.

    Narration 42:15

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