radio-frequency identification

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radio-frequency identification

(RFID), a technology that uses radio waves to transmit data and uniquely identify an animal, person, or thing. An RFID system typically consists of a tag and a reader. The tag, or transponder, contains information identifying an item or specifying a condition or state; the information is stored on a microchip that is attached to an antenna. The reader communicates with the tag and reads the information into its memory. The tag typically contains a unique serial number for identification, and may have other data, such as a customers' account number or a dog's registration information. Some tags can also receive new data, for example, an item's location during shipment for tracking purposes.

An RFID system is broadly similar to barcodebarcode,
computer coding system that uses a printed pattern of lines and bars to identify such things as products, mail and packages, and customer accounts; the term also is used for similar coding systems that do not use bar-based patterns.
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 systems, where information is transferred optically, but RFID has several advantages with respect to barcode technology: the capacity to store large amounts of data, the ability to read many tags simultaneously, and the ability to gather data without direct contact or line-of-sight scanning. RFID tags can be active, passive, or semipassive. Active tags employ batteries as a complete or partial power source. This increases the effective operating range of the tag and permits it to offer additional features, such as temperature sensing. Passive tags are the most common. Such tags remain dormant until triggered by radio energy emitted by the reader; that energy field then provides the power for the tag to operate. Semipassive tags, sometimes called battery-assisted tags, have a battery which powers the tag's microchip's circuitry but does not broadcast a signal to the reader. Some semipassive tags conserve power by laying dormant until they receive a signal from the reader.

Although RFID technology can be traced to the early 1920s, the first practical application was the IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system pioneered by the British during World War II; transponders were placed into fighter planes and tanks, and readers could query them to determine whether to attack. The system was subsequently adapted for commercial and civil aviation as part of air traffic control systems. A theft-prevention system based on a tag that could store one bit (that could stand for on or off) was developed in the 1970s.

The 1970s saw RFIDs used for toll collection, and the next decade brought expanded use in supply chain management. Technological advances since then have reduced the cost and size of RFID tags, opening up a wider range of uses. RFID technology is already well established in such as livestock tracking and electronic payments, and RFID tags also are used to monitor such physical characteristics as temperature, pressure, and humidity to maintain freshness of agricultural products during shipping and storage. Paper-thin tags can now be embedded in sheets of paper, making them nearly invisible, and concerns have been raised that the technology could be used in covert monitoring schemes that pose a threat to privacy.

RFID is sometimes called dedicated short-range communication (DSRC). Historically the terms RFID and DSRC have been used synonymously to describe a technology based on tags and readers. More recently, however, DSRC has been used to describe the segment of the portion of the radio spectrum allocated to RFID applications.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Radio frequency identification is those type of technologies which mainly use wireless communication between object and interrogating device.
The radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that uses radio waves to transfer data from an electronic tag, called RFID tag attached to an object, through a reader.
Another application for radio frequency identification technology is in the retail sector, where intelligent tags are being placed on clothing and food to monitor their quantity and freshness.
The host of technologies that fall under the more general auto-ID umbrella include bar codes, smart cards, voice recognition, some biometric technologies (retinal scans, for instance), optical character recognition (OCR), and radio frequency identification (RFID).
All cargo tagged with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) arriving and leaving the airfield would be identified and tracked.
At a time when lost and mishandled bags are costing the industry $2.5 billion a year, airlines collectively could save $768 million annually if passive RFID tags were implemented for baggage handling, replacing barcode tags and scanners, IATA RFID Project Manager Andrew Price said yesterday on radio frequency identification technology.
Of major concern to the groups opposing the measure is the possible use of radio frequency identification (REID) chips, which contain small antennae that can be read by low frequency transceivers.
RFID4U, the world's leader in radio frequency identification learning solutions, will create a RFID symposium along with a half day bootcamp and smart packaging workshop in 2006 to inform the paper and converting industries on latest in cutting edge RFID technology.
He says the center will also focus on improving packaging design and developing new technologies such as radio frequency identification on food products to replace the current bar code system and speed customers through the checkout counter.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) is often described as the next generation of bar codes.
RFID, or radio frequency identification, tags contain important tracking and descriptive information about the objects--for example, freight packages, vehicles or pieces of luggage--to which they are attached.

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