RFID

RFID Systems consist of a transponder, also known as a tag, which is basically a microchip connected to an antenna. The tag is mounted to an item, such as a pallet of goods in a warehouse, and a device called a reader communicates with the tag via radio waves. Depending on the type of tag that is used, the reader can receive detailed information or it can receive data as simple as an identification number.

RFID is similar to barcode systems in which data, such as a price, is accessed when the barcode is read. The main difference is that the barcode must come in direct contact to an optical scanner/reader and the RFID tag can transmit to the reader via radio waves and does not have to be in direct contact. An RFID reader can receive data from as many as 1,000 tags per second.

The radio signals can go through many non-metallic substances such as rain, fog, snows, dirt and grime, painted surfaces, etc. This gives RFID tags a distinct advantage over optically read items, such as barcodes, which would be useless under similar conditions.

The many uses for RFID technology include:

  • Smart labels and security labels
  • Product and inventory management
  • RFID chips in car keys for security
  • Theft control
  • Placement on pharmaceuticals to prevent counterfeited drugs from entering the legal supply chain
  • Increased efficiency in admissions into entertainment or sporting events
  • Increased efficiency in toll road payments
  • Monitoring the whereabouts of luggage, library books, livestock, etc.,

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