Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the wireless non-contact use of radio frequency waves to transfer data. Tagging items with RFID tags allows users to automatically and uniquely identify and track inventory and assets. RFID takes auto-ID technology to the next level by allowing tags to be read without line of sight and, depending on the type of RFID, having a read range between a few centimeters to over 20+ meters.
This is an absolutely key part of the technology; RFID tags do not need to contain batteries, and can therefore remain usable for very long periods of time.
While each system will vary in terms of device types and complexity. The simplest system can be comprised of a mobile handheld RFID reader. Every RFID system contains at least the following four components:
RFID cards are used for applications where tracking or identifying personnel is important or where access control is required. Various RFID frequency bands are utilized in cards today, including 125 kHz low frequency proximity, 13.56 MHz high frequency smart card and 860-960 MHz ultra-high frequency (UHF).
- Data can be read at long distance. By using wireless communication, data can be read at distance of several meters. Data can be read from a tag that is in a high, relatively inaccessible place. Inventory count in a large store or a storehouse can be easily done while securing operators safety.
- Multiple tags can be read at once. RFID obviates the need to hold each item one by one in order to read the data. It enables the data in all of the tags to be read at once by simply passing the scanner over the tags. This greatly reduces the time required to carry out stocktaking, etc.
- Data can also be read from outside the box. Since data is communicated via radio waves, it can be read from outside the packing box without opening the box, even when a tag is attached to the product. Unlike barcode, which can not be read when the surface is damaged, RFID is highly immune to dirt, and can read data without problem even if the surface of the tag dirty.
- A passive type RFID tag can be used semi-permanently without a battery. In addition, because the tag contains a memory, the data can be re-written. Compared to barcode, RFID contains and exchanges the much larger amount of data.
RFID based technologies are fast leading to impactful applications across newer areas and industries. With precise, fast and automated tracking, visibility and identification systems enabled by such technologies, an entirely better way of conducting operations are steadily emerging across business areas.