Analyzing Radio Frequency Identification
Our team has chosen to explore Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, because this intriguing technology has recently advanced both technologically and socially. To help you understand the importance and the intricacies of RFID, our team will explain what radio frequency identification is and how it works, how it can and will be used, as well as the impact it is having on the world today. There are differing opinions on how RFID should be used and even whether it should be used at all. After seeing our presentation and reading our report, we hope we will have provided you with the necessary information to create an informed opinion.
What is RFID? RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and is a term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. The most common method of identification is to store a serial number on a microchip that is attached to an antenna. An RFID transponder or an RFID tag is the chip and the antenna together. “The antenna s enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that then can be passed on to computers that can make use of it” (www.rfidjournal.com). “Many of the largest manufacturing companies would like to replace the bar code with RFIDs meaning that virtually every item on the planet and the people wearing and carrying those items could be remotely tracked. There is currently no regulation protecting consumers from this technology” (www.spychips.com). What is the difference between passive and active tags? Active RFID tags have a transmitter and their own power source, which is typically a battery. Passive RFID tags do not have their own power source. “Instead, they draw power from the reader, which sends out electromagnetic waves that induce a current in the tag’s antenna” (www.rfidjournal).
What is the read range for a typical RFID tag? The read range of passive tags depends on many factors: the frequency of operation, the power of the reader, and interference from other RF devices. “In general, low frequency tags are read from a foot (0.33 meter) or less. High-frequency tags are read from about three feet (1 meter) and UHF tags are read from 10 to 20 feet. Where longer ranges are needed, such as for tracking railway cars, active tags use batteries to boost read ranges to 300 feet (100 meters) or more” (www.rfidjournal.com). How much information can a tag store? “It depends on the vendor and the application, but typically a tag would carry no more than 2KB of data-enough to store some basic information about the item it is on. Companies are now looking at using a simple “license plate” tag that contains only a 96-bit serial number. The simple tags are cheaper to manufacture and are more useful for applications where the tag will be disposed of with the product packaging” (wwwrfidjournal.com). What is...