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In our project, there are over 200 dummy users who are not very capable of using mobile technologies or computers comfortly.

The project is essentially a MRP & Production Planning solution with machines connected to the server.

In the original idea, we thought it'd be good to have mobile tablets mounted at every machine, and give all of the users an RFID tag (a card really) to make them read by the tablet to authenticate the user.

But we've noticed that there are not too many tablets which supports NFC or RFID.

So, right now we're looking for an alternative solution.

Can anyone suggest any other technology that we can search through ?

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    What about barcodes?? It's not as gee-wiz as NFC or RFID, but cheap to implement. Tons and tons of used barcode readers out there....tie them to something to do the IoT part like a Arduino or Raspberry Pi and away you go! It's what we used on the manufacturing floor 20 years ago and it worked just fine. – JD Allen May 9 '18 at 1:17
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    @JDAllen I thought about that too. It's a good solution, yes. But in our facility cameras or qr codes/barcode can be covered with dirt which wouldn't be so efficient. – paroxit May 9 '18 at 11:13
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If you are planning to use cheap android tablets, you should do some survey to understand what technologies are possible options for authentication. Besides wifi and bluetooth connectivity, most of the tablets have USB OTG host connector and with some cable you should be able to attach USB authentication dongle. Or if security is not a big issue in your case, any USB flash dongle could serve this purpose. You could read the dongle's serial number, but I am not sure if android api will allow you to do so or store a single file with unique filename and use it as user UID.

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Possibly cheaper than a tablet would be a Raspberry Pi and a USB NFC reader or a NFC Hat.

It's not clear what you mean by machine, but if you mean just another computer then both Linux and Windows will authenticate via NFC directly without the need for a tablet/pi/other device, just a USB NFC reader.

  • Tablet is a must. Because there will be some user actions. Authenticating and locking the tablet is our problem here. But your solution is sounds good. We can build an external device to read the NFC and then unlock tablet using WebSocket. – paroxit May 9 '18 at 11:14
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You can consider attaching pcProx® Plus RFID readers with the machines, 1 per machine. You can use RDR-80581AK8 SKU. It is powered by 5V external power supply and supports RS232 for sending data in ASCII format.

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