Innovation That Matters

In Canada, RFID warning system to aid child safety on farms

Sport & Fitness

Where Abouts is an RFID-based warning system designed to protect children and animals from farm vehicles.

There appears to be no end to the various uses of RFID technology, from helping farmers to identify sick cows to sending real-time offers to shoppers’ phones when in-store. The latest RFID innovation comes from Prairie Tech Enterprises, with their Where Abouts warning system that alerts machinery operators when children are nearby. Prairie Tech Enterprises is made up of three farming families from Western Canada. Together they came up with the concept for Where Abouts while on a trip to Europe, where they discovered an RFID-based safety system intended to protect children or pets from the hazards of farm operated machinery and vehicles. However, upon discovering that this existing system was expensive and didn’t meet Canadian regulations, they decided to create their own version. There are two components to Where Abouts: an RFID-coded wristband which is worn by the child or pet, and a battery-powered RFID reader which can be attached to the windshield of a farm vehicle with a plastic suction cup. This device warns the driver with a flashing light and alarm when within 100 feet of a wristband. Where Abouts will officially launch next month and will be available as a set consisting of one receiver and one wristband — expected to cost CAD 350 — while additional wristbands can be purchased individually for CAD 100. The idea won Prairie Tech Enterprises the Gold Standard Innovations award at the Western Canada Farm Progress Show. While we’ve seen many marketing and brand-enhancing examples of RFID technology, it’s great to see it now being used in safety efforts. Time to consider RFID technology as a tool to help to solve a problem of your own? Spotted by: Judy McRae



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