Hello Mi Fans,
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is a dedicated short range communication (DSRC) technology. This technology is used in radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object. A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within direct line of sight of the reader to be tracked.
What is RFID?
Short for radio frequency identification, RFID is a dedicated short range communication (DSRC) technology. The term RFID is used to describe various technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. RFID technology is similar to the bar code identification systems we see in retail stores every day; however, one big difference between RFID and bar code technology is that RFID does not rely on the line-of-sight reading that bar code scanning requires to work.
Technology Behind RFID:
With RFID, the electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the RF (radio frequency) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is used to transmit signals. A RFID system consists of an antenna and a transceiver, which read the radio frequency and transfer the information to a processing device (reader) and a transponder, or RF tag, which contains the RF circuitry and information to be transmitted. The antenna provides the means for the integrated circuit to transmit its information to the reader that converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that can then be passed on to computers that can analyze the data.
In RFID systems, the tags that hold the data are broken down into two different types. Passive tags use the radio frequency from the reader to transmit their signal. Passive tags will generally have their data permanently burned into the tag when it is made, although some can be rewritten.
Active tags are much more sophisticated and have the onboard battery for power to transmit their data signal over a greater distance and power random access memory (RAM) giving them the ability to store up to 32,000 bytes of data.
How does a RFID system work?
A RFID system is made up of two parts: a tag or label and a reader. RFID tags or labels are embedded with a transmitter and a receiver. The RFID component on the tags has two parts: a microchip that stores and processes information, and an antenna to receive and transmit a signal. The tag contains the specific serial number for one specific object.
To read the information encoded on a tag, a two-way radio transmitter-receiver called an interrogator or reader emits a signal to the tag using an antenna. The tag responds with the information written in its memory bank. The interrogator will then transmit the read results to a RFID computer program.
There are two types of RFID tags: passive and battery powered. A passive RFID tag will use the interrogator’s radio wave energy to relay its stored information back to the interrogator. A battery powered RFID tag is embedded with a small battery that powers the relay of information.
In a retail setting, RFID tags may be attached to articles of clothing. When an inventory associate uses a handheld RFID reader to scan a shelf of jeans, the associate is able to differentiate between two pairs of identical jeans based upon the information stored on the RFID tag. Each pair will have its own serial number.
With one pass of the handheld RFID reader, the associate can not only find a specific pair, but they can tell how many of each pair is on the shelf and which pairs need to be replenished. The associate can learn all of this information without having to scan each individual item.
RFID Class-1 Generation-2 (“Gen-2”) tags are used for item level identification in retail environments. “Class-1” refers to the functionality of the tag while “Gen-2” refers to the physical and logical standards of tag and the encompassing system. These standards are maintained by EPC global. “Gen-2” standards were adopted in December of 2004 and offer many advantages over “Gen-1” such as:
RFID tags are classified as Class 0 through Class 5, depending on their functionality:
Much like tuning into your favorite radio station, RFID tags and readers must be tuned to the same frequency to enable communications. RFID systems can use a variety of frequencies to communicate, but because radio waves work and act differently at different frequencies, a frequency for a specific RFID system is often dependant on its application. High-frequency RFID systems (850 MHz to 950 MHz and 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz) offer transmission ranges of more than 90 feet, although wavelengths in the 2.4 GHz range are absorbed by water, which includes the human body, and therefore has limitations.
Depth Understanding of RFID:
Radio frequency identification, a technology similar in theory to bar code identification. With RFID, the electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the RF portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is used to transmit signals. A RFID system consists of an antenna and a transceiver, which read the radio frequency and transfer the information to a processing device, and a transponder, or tag, which is an integrated circuit containing the RF circuitry and information to be transmitted.
Short for radio frequency, any frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum associated with radio wave propagation. When an RF current is supplied to an antenna, an electromagnetic field is created that then is able to propagate through space. Many wireless technologies are based on RF field propagation.
Automatic identification and data capture, or collection, a generic term for the process of capturing or collecting data via automatic means (i.e., without the use of a keyboard), such as RFID, bar code scanning, biometrics, smart cards, OCR or magnetic strips, and subsequently storing that data in a microprocessor-controlled device, such as a computer.
To end on a positive note, RFID tags can be pretty helpful in our daily life. Tracking electronic products will enable companies to get information on how far the product has reached and how many of them are being sold every day. On a flip side, however, issues like how deep the RFID penetration should be or security concerns regarding encryption standards should be addressed. However, there’s no denying RFID is definitely one technology that we’re going to play with in the future.
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