What is RFID & How Does It Work?

Cybertruss Work on RFID Demo

RFID is an acronym for “Radio-frequency identification”. Digital data are usually stored in RFID tags or smart labels. The data in this tag or labels are captured by a RFID reader via radio wave. It uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. RFID is similar to barcoding in that data from a tag or label are captured by a device that stores the data in a database. RFID tecchnology is used to uniquely identify an object, animal or person.

RFID TAGS AND SMART LABELS

RFID tags are made up of an integrated circuit ( or an IC), an antenna and a protective material that holds the pieces together and shields them from various environmental conditions which can be called a substrate. RFID inlay is the part of the tag that encodes identifying information .

RFID TAG

There are two main types of RFID tags: active RFID and passive RFID. An active RFID tag has its own power source, usually a battery. A passive tag, on the other hand, does not require batteries; rather it receives its power from the RFID reader’s antenna. There are also semi-passive RFID tags, in this case a battery runs the circuitry while the communication is powered by the RFID reader.

Some RFID readers can also work with smart labels which utilizes a combination of RFID and barcode technologies. They are made of an adhesive label embedded with an RFID tag inlay, and they may also feature a barcode and/or other printed information.

The read range for RFID tags varies based on factors such as type of tag, type of reader, RFID frequency, and interference in the surrounding environment or from other RFID tags and readers. Active RFID tags have a longer read range than passive RFID tags due to the stronger power source.

HOW DOES RFID WORK?

RFID identifIes objects, collect data about them, and enter those data directly into computer systems with little or no human intervention. It uses radio waves to accomplish this. At a simple level, RFID systems consist of three components: an RFID tag or smart label, an RFID reader, and an antenna. RFID tags consist of an integrated circuit and an antenna, which are used to transmit data to the RFID reader. The reader then converts the radio waves to a more usable form of data. Information that are collected from the tags are then transferred through a communication interface to a host computer system. The computer system can store or analyze these data.

WHY RFID IS A BETTER SYSTEM TO BARCODE READER?

RFID technology has several advantages over the barcode system. They are as follows:
1. RFID tags do not require a direct line of sight to be read whereas the barcode system requires close proximity between the bar codes and the optical reader.
2. Data stored in an RFID tag can be updated in real-time. In contrast, bar code data is read-only and cannot be changed.
3. RFID tags require a power source. In contrast, bar codes only require the technology to read the bar code to have a power source.

RFID APPLICATIONS – USE CASE

– Inventory management
– Asset tracking
– Personnel tracking
– Controlling access to restricted areas
– ID Badging
– Supply chain management
– Counterfeit prevention (e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry)

In our next blog, we are going to find out if RFID is secured or not. Stay tuned.

If you need any assistance on how to use RFID to run your business, send your request to support@cybertruss.com. To learn more about smart hardware that can be developed by us visit http://internetofthings.cybertruss.com

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