The use of RFID technology in university classrooms: Covid-19 related

A. Malekmohammadi, R.R. Bautista, R. Hernandez
California state university Bakersfield,
United States

Keywords: RFID, COVID19


COVID-19 is a pandemic that has put countries in a global crisis. In the United states over 78 Million people are infected, and more than 900 thousand deaths are reported as on February 18, 2022. According to the guideline prepared by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Institutions of Higher Education, universities and schools can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection by practice of social distancing, limiting number of staff/students in a room as well as contact tracing. At California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) we have implemented a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bases system in order to tracks student/staff across the campus for contact tracing and monitoring the social distancing. RFID technology has been widely used in indoor location tracking, due to its advantage of low cost and resistance to harsh environments. In recent years, scientists and researchers have developed many applications based on RFID technology. However, tracking in real-time with high accuracy has been reported to be a challenging task. In this project we have used RFID technology in order to monitor space density, student and staff movement in real time in order to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection. This pilot project uses a Location Tracking System (LTS) RFID active tag with sensor capabilities that adds the ability for the tags to “talk” to each other rather than communicating through fixed gateways and antennas. Using gateways with known locations, we created fixed locations across CSUB campus, then mobile Tags were given to faculty and students to track their locations. Tag works seamlessly with an RFID asset tracking software solution called “AssetWorx” that can dynamically count number of tags and display the location of Tags onto a map of our campus. The proposed RFID solution is an ad-hoc networked tag for RFID that requires very little infrastructure. The proposed active RFID tags offers a new way for tracking, monitoring and collecting data on campus. Each tag connects to other tags to form a dynamic network of tags that can pass messages, such as location and sensor data, amongst each other. This technology allows for complete real-time monitoring with very little infrastructure requirements. Experimental results prove that RFID contact tracing and space management project exhibit promising outcomes for monitoring number of student/staff as well as contact tracing across the campus. The presented design, implementation and results can be used for larger application at the other campuses and communities, while addressing a wide range of privacy, security, and ethical concerns.