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Using RFID Technology to Develop an Attendance System and Avoid Traffic

Congestion around Kindergartens

Whai-De Chen and Hsuan-Pu Chang

Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering

Tamkang University


Abstract administrators and parents if the children do not show

up in a class on time so that the adults have the enough
This paper aims at developing applications based time to check out these particular children and prevent
on active RFID and wireless GSM message to accident happens.
construct an active student attendance system that
sends the message to parents cellular phone informing Another main purpose of the system is used to relieve
whether their children are safely arrive in classroom the traffic jam around the kindergarten after class,
at morning. Meanwhile, the system is also used to parents drive to school to pick up their children at the
relieve the traffic congestion around kindergartens same time. Many cars would get stuck by the
especially while the parents are driving cars to pick up kindergarten because they all temporarily park in front
their children after class at rush or on rainy days. of the school and wait the guardians to find out their
Finally, the encountered problems are summarized to children and bring them out. The traffic chaos is more
discuss according to our developing experience. serious especially on rainy days or the kindergarten is
located on a busy district. With the prior distributed
Keyword: Active RFID, GSM message, cellular phone, RFID tags carried by parents, the system can detect the
kindergarten approaching cars in a specific distance and identify the
children who would be picked up next. Thus, the
1. Introduction school broadcasting system would read the children
name and guardians could bring them out so that these
Traditionally, the security of kindergartens is highly parent cars can pick up their children without
relied on the human’s effort and attention like additional waiting.
guardians and teachers. However, if there is no active
informing service provide by kindergartens usually, The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section
parents have no idea of when and whether their 2 describes the variety of RIFD applications on
children safely arrive in their classroom after they are different domains. Section 3 presents the system
picked up by school bus. Every morning the student architecture and describes how to construct the active
attendance offers the first hand information of children student attendance system with RFID and how to solve
safety. But sometimes it is complicated to exactly the traffic jam around kindergartens after class. Section
track the attendance since the children arrive in a 4 details the encountered barriers while implementing
period of time in the morning and some of them come the system with the chosen equipments. Finally,
with their parents and some come by school bus. So section 5 concludes the paper and describes our future
we develop an active RFID attendance system to works.
overcome the barriers and mistakes of manually taking
attendance and combine the wireless GSM message 2. Related Works
service to provide real time responses to their parents’
cellular phone. Parents can check the message and With the rapid development and the available cost of
understand when their children are safely arrived. On RFIDs, various applications are proposed to facilitate
the contrary, a noticing message will be broadcasted to our daily life and turn the conventional utility of these
978 -1-4244-1866-4/08/$25.00 © 2008IEEE

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small tags. The varieties of RFIDs are widely used in recognition but also integrate the examination of finger
different fields according to their specific features. printer and pupil scanning.

z RFID on medical management

The medical institution in Taiwan, Tri-Service General Other related literatures
Hospital has been conducting an experimental project
utilizing RFID to facilitate the management on patient Anshel and Levitan (2007) used RFID technology to
tracking and epidemic prevention/control. correctly identify patients and items [2] such as
medications holds great promise in reducing medical
The RFID system in this hospital applies to the errors. But on the other hand, it still need a reliable
emergency ward and operating room currently, in encryption algorithms to protect patient information to
order to confirm the identity of patients and complete increase the likelihood of the acceptance and
registration immediately for further treatment. The deployment of RFID tags in medical environments.
medical staff can obtain the patient detailed treatment Varshney (2007) used wireless networking solutions of
record and physical data including name, age, blood wireless LANs, ad hoc wireless networks, and,
type, relative's name, and contact information, etc. ellular/GSM/3G infrastructure oriented networks to
construct pervasive healthcare applications [3] include
z RFID on small transactions pervasive health monitoring, intelligent emergency
Using mobile phones as electronic wallet with Near management system, pervasive healthcare data access,
Field Communication (NFC) which is a RFID-like and ubiquitous mobile telemedicine. This paper also
wireless communication protocol – its available range discussed context awareness, reliability, and,
is within 8inches and data transfer rate is about autonomous and adaptiveness of wireless health
212Kbps. The most difference to RFID is that NFC monitoring system. Yoder (2006) used an inexpensive
adopts two-way identification and permanent RFID reader and tags in the classroom to teach a
connection between devices so that it is mainly used variety of basic principles of information technology to
for payments, identifying and communication as well students taking an introductory Management
as directly transferring data like pictures and Information Systems (MIS) course [4]. This sets the
documents. stage for a short PowerPoint slide session followed by
a case study relating to the use of RFID to achieve
Venkataramani and Gopalan (2007) proposed an competitive advantage in supply chain management. Li
framework using RFID credit cards for electronic and Ding (2007) indicated that existing RFID solutions
payment [1] that aims at prevent frauds thrive either cannot be applied directly in this field because of a set
because an owner is unaware of the physical loss of the of special RFID security requirements to be addressed
card or the card information is stolen by a miscreant. for supply chain management. The major contribution
The architecture beats the odds by requiring mobile [5] of their project is to identify the unique set of
phone and credit card together for validating a security requirements in supply chains and to propose
transaction and etching an encrypted tag in RFID a practical design of RFID communication protocols
credit cards. that satisfy the security requirements.

z RFID on E-passports 3. System Architecture and

E-passport is also called smart passport which is used Implementation
to accelerate the procedures of check-in/ check-out
examination. The chip embedded in the passport 3.1 Hardware equipment
allows the immigration office immediately receive the
required information about the passenger via the
zRFID Reader
specific scanning equipment. The E-passport can not
Figure 1 shows the appearance of the RFID Reader
only enhance the identification ability with the face
features information stored in the chip for further (RX900) used to construct the attendance system that

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operates at 433 MHz and the longest range is about 58
meters. The message sender/ receiver GM-7000 as shown in
figure 3, its main function is to send messages to its
important users and to inform whom its status quo of
the present system when an emergency happens.
Besides, it is equipped with a function of receiving
messages .If necessary, it can even turn the contents of
messages into computer commands.

3.2 Implementation

Figure 1: RFID Reader (RX900)


The figure 2 shows the appearance of the tag used in

our implementation. The tag model is TG501 active
Tag, its measured response distance is shown as table 1.

Figure 4 User interface of tag management

The figure 4 shows the operating process of a user’s

interface as follows:
Figure 2 RFID Tag (TG501)
1. After a user press the button “connect “, the
Table 1: Tag signal practical measurement server will be connected to the reader.
2. At this moment , the reader starts reading tag ID
0 degree 45 degrees 90 degrees
number, and shows it in the tag ID column of a
Furthes parallel:44 parallel:44 parallel:44 user’ s operating interface .
t Range vertical:54 vertical:54 vertical:54 3. After it is shown, the system will search for the
related user’s information in the database
unit: meters
according to the tag ID number, such as the
students’ names, the parents’ names and whose
GPRS Modem mobile phone numbers and so on. It will also
write the information into the roll file in the
database, and shows the result in the column of
the user’s interface.
4. If it is school time at that moment, the system
will send a message to the parents to confirm that
their children have arrived at school safely after
it is shown.
5. If it is after school at that moment, the system
will send the recording files related to the
children to the media player list, and let the
school broadcast the information on the campus.
Figure 3 GPRS Modem (GM-700)

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ʳʳʳʳʳ ready to be picked up by their parent outside the
The system is an active RFID system of enhancing building so that their parent can immediately take their
security for kindergartens. Its configuration is shown children without additional waiting. Consequently, the
traffic congestion in front of the kindergarten is
as figure 5. When a student goes into the school, the
significantly relieved at rush hour after class.
reader will respond the student’s tag and write his/her
information into the roll file. At the same time, the
system reads the information of the student and sends
message to his/her parent through the massage sender.
It proves that the student has reached school safely,
and let his/her parent work without worry.

Figure 6 Usage for an active attendance system – when

leaving school

4. Discussion
Although the system has been completed, there is
much to be desired:

4.1 Flaws for outdoor conditions :

Figure 5 Usage for an active attendance system – when
entering school zThe response distance from the reader
Due to the response distance is fixed , the antenna
must be added for strengthening its connecting
3.2.1 The system operations when entering school quality. But the quality will be seriously affected when
we are driving in a narrow alley between houses.
The RFID electronic identification tag can be a
student’s nameplate. When a student in the z Weather factor
kindergarten or in the elementary enters or leaves the Weather is an irresistible factor, especially on rainy
campus, the reader established in the schoolyard will days. Electronic appliances must stay away from the
send a message to the school server, and another about humidity. If there’s something wrong with the reader,
“safe arrival “ or “safe leaving “ to his /her parent , the response distance will be shortened. If the reader
which can let the parent understand the kid’s gets wet, the total system may not work at all. So we
whereabouts completely. Meanwhile, the school can have to do something to prevent the humidity.
also control the student’s attendance condition. By
doing so, it forms a better and safer electronic z Speeding factor
protection net. The accuracy for the reader’s response can be
influenced if we drive too fast, so that we can’t
identify our kids.
3.2.2 The system operations when leaving school:
z Cars changing
Figure 6 illustrates the system used after school, the We can’t make sure that the parents drive the same car
reader can respond the parent’s tag away from about every day , so that their cars can’t be identified. The
50 meters, looking for his/her kid’s information in the solution to this is to put the tag into the parents’
database, and read it out. After that, the system will put mobile phones .
a recording file on the Media player list, and broadcast
it through the school’s broadcasting system in advance. 4.2 Flaws for indoor conditions
After the kid hears the message, he/she can earlier get

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z Controls for the amount of the students Although the proposed system has been accomplished
When too many students step into the campus at the and experimentally executing at a cooperated
same time, there will be nothing wrong with the kindergarten that accommodates about 200 people
reader’s response . The computer may crash down including the children, teachers and other employees,
when the GPS Modem is sending messages with the but the privacy and the cost are the main issues we are
server’s problems and its slow speed .Thus , I suggest currently concerned. Many parents still doubt the
that the telecommunication providers send all the efficiency of the system. They do not like their cars
messages . would be detected without perception and do complain
the additional cost of the tags. Therefore, our next step
z Stealing the information of the students is performing an evaluation to see if the proposed
Because the messages are sent by the system can actually meet the all expectations and
telecommunication providers, it possibly causes the propose a solution for privacy issues.
telecommunication providers to run any commercial
behavior by stealing the students’ information. 6. References
z Possibility of sending too many messages at a [1] Geethapriya Venkataramani and Srividya
time Gopalan, “Mobile phone based RFID
The system basically sends a message a day. Due to architecture for secure electronic Payments using
the speed problems for the computer management, the RFID credit cards”, Proceedings on The Second
system might make a few errors. For example, one International Availability, Reliability and
parent receives more than 10 messages at a time. Security (ARES 2007), April 2007, Pages:610 –
4.3 Usages for the future [2] Michael Anshel and Sarah Levitan, “Reducing
medical errors using secure RFID technology”,
z Taking the temperature of the students ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 2007, Pages: 157 – 159
Because young children’s physical resistance is not [3] Upkar Varshney, “Pervasive Healthcare and
good. We can’t emphasize the importance of taking the Wireless Health Monitoring”, Mobile Networks
temperature too much. If the tag is attached to a and Applications, 2007, Pages 113 – 127
thermometer, the parents can know their kids’ physical [4] Asdf Robert C. Yoder, “USING RFID IN THE
conditions at any time by sending the messages. CLASSROOM TO TEACH INFORMATION
z Learning the concept of the time and numbers : Computing Sciences in Colleges, Volume 21,
If the tag is attached to a watch, it can help children 2006, Pages: 123 – 129
learn numbers and tell the time. [5] Yingjiu Li and Xuhua Ding, “Protecting RFID
Communications in Supply Chains”, Proceedings
z Matching with 3G system : on the 2nd ACM symposium on Information,
If we put the tag into our mobile phones, letting the computer and communications security,
parents realize their kids’ conditions at any time and Singapore, 2007, Pages: 234 - 241
any place. We can make the parents feel safe and free
by doing so.

5. Conclusion and Future Work

The proposed student attendance system based on
RFID technology and combine GSM message service
to provide the real time information that informs the
parents if their children are safely arrive in classroom
on time every morning with their cellular phones.
Another purpose of the system is to avoid the traffic
congestion by the kindergarten due to the approaching
cars of the parents for picking up their children at the
same time after school.

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