RFID is an acronym for “radio-frequency identification” or in English: “radiofrequency identification”. RFID technology has a huge range of functions and applications. From the military level, to the commercial use within the establishments.
This is a technology that presents a level of communication through a wireless channel that consists of 3 components: an RFID tag or smart tag, an RFID reader and an antenna. It could be relate to a barcode, only that instead of having some ink marks for identification, radio waves are use.
Basically, it is a label, chip or tag that is place on the object to be identify, which generates a radio frequency signal to be receive by an RFID reader .
History of RFID
Radio Frequency Identification or RFID dates back to the early 1920s, where it was develop by MIT. From that moment, it began to present different applications, . Including those use at the military level within the Second World War. It was use by the air forces of England to identify their aircraft within friendly fire. It was implement by placing a tag on friendly aircraft. In this way, the aforemention ships generate a response signal in order to be instantly distinguish from enemy ships that were approaching their base.
Subsequently, with advances in technology, more research and better knowledge, RFID technology was promote and develop for the 70s. If you would like to know a little more about the history and development of radio frequency identification, you can get it at this address.
Operation of the RFID
The operation of this technology is quite simple. Initially a receiver sends a constant signal within a single range radius. When a tag comes into contact with said signal, it sends information that the reader will later interpret according to the programming it has in order to give it the desire use and meaning.
Base on the specifications that the label presents, information can be edit or record on it. This presents an enormous advantage within the logistics area, . Since it allows to have a special control of stock and the location of shipments.
As mention above, radio frequency identification technology has 3 components: an RFID tag or smart tag, an RFID reader , and an antenna. Each one fulfills a function of vital importance for the optimal operation of this entire system. If you want to go a little deeper into the operation of each of these elements, .You can get it at this address.
Types of RFID systems and tags
Within the RFID market there are different types of systems that depend on the frequency band with which they operate. These types of frequency are know as:
- Low Frequency : It is known as LF (low frequency). Covers frequencies from 30Khz to 300Khz. Provides a reduce reading range of about 10 cm with a reduce reading speed. The LF is not consider for applications of global use due to the considerable difference of powers and frequencies with which it works around the world. It has considerable resistance to external interference.
- High Frequency : It is known as HF (high frequency). Covers frequencies from 3Mhz to 30Mhz. The vast majority of HF RFID systems work with 13.56 Mhz, presenting reading ranges between 10 cm and 1 m. HF systems are moderately affect by external interference.
- Ultra-high Frequency : It is known as UHF (ultra-high frequency). Covers frequencies from 300Mhz to 3 Ghz. UHF systems offer a coverage of up to 12 m, presenting a higher level of data transmission and a greater sensitivity to interference. UHF systems are much cheaper to manufacture than LF and HF systems.
Now, depending on the type of power that the RFID tag receives , they can be catalog as follows:
Power Receiver Tags
- Passive Tags : These do not have any type of power. They receive a signal that induces minimal electrical current to operate the circuit inside the tag to create and send a response. They are usually use for short distances and as they do not have their own power system, they are usually quite small.
- Active Tags : These do have their own power source that they use to power their internal circuits and broadcast their signal. By having their own power source, they are capable of sending much more powerful signals than passive tags. They work for greater distances, generating clear responses from weak signals.
- Semi-passive Tags : Along with the active tags, the semi-passive tags also have their own power supply, only in this case it is only use to power the internal microchip and not to emit a signal. These tags have a much higher response level, so they have a higher reading ratio. The integrate battery allows the integrate circuit within the tag to be constantly power, thus eliminating the need to set up an antenna to collect power from a signal that is receive.
Radio frequency identification technology has a huge range of applications. The user can identify everything that is within his reach, as long as he has the 3 components already mention. In some cases, this RFID system could be combine with a mobility system to provide a greater number of additional benefits. Within that example, it is worth mentioning:
- Inventory control in warehouses : Labels can be attach to any type of item or object that you want to monitor when entering or leaving the warehouse. The RFID system allows it to be automatically register within a control system.
- Control of nearby elements : By using identification cards and incorporating an RFID tag , it would be possible to know exactly who attend a certain talk or area that is register.
- Document authentication : Thanks to RFID systems , the veracity of a vitally important document, such as certificates, permits or other legal documents, could be obtain. This through the incorporation of a small chip in said document.
- Medical care : Depending on the condition that the patient has, he or she may or may not leave the area that is within their medical enclosure. RFID tags could function as an alarm method when leaving a certain area through an identify wrist strap.
- Contactless payments : As all bank cards have a radio frequency chip in them, a payment system could be incorporate where it is only necessary to bring the wallet to the reader or payment terminal to make the purchase, without the need for a more tedious process.
Depending on the type of system that has radio frequency identification,. Be it LF, HF or UHF, they could be use for certain situations. LF’s common RFID applications are chip-base animal control or access control system. For HF systems, they are typically use for ticketing, payments, and data transfer applications. UHF systems can be use from store inventories to drug identification to protect them from theft.
RFID application for clothing and fashion
Today, the fashion industry and the clothing world have start to use RFID technology to be at the forefront of technology. They use this technology to prevent counterfeiting of their garments, organize events,. Replenish products within their stores, control inventories and even improve purchases within their store.
Brands such as Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Rebecca Minkoff, . Have create innovative ways for a customer to live a new experience within their clothing stores. The Zara brand has also implement the use of RFID tags in the vast majority of its stores. One of the largest clothing distribution companies worldwide,. Inditex, has been one of the companies that have benefit the most from the use of this technology within its branches worldwide. They have the ability to locate a garment anywhere within the warehouse and perform extremely short inventory control.
In the fashion industry it has been use for events such as Milan and New York Fashion Week. These events deliver an invitation with a QR code that is intend to be scan to allow entry to the event and control of attendance. All this process can be do through a smartphone or a tablet. If you want to investigate a little more about the use of RFID technology in the fashion industry, you can do it in this direction.
As mention, RFID technology can provide an infinite number of applications, depending on the use that you want to give it. In the future, these systems could completely replace bar codes by having a greater range and faster reading.
Similarly, it is estimate that it could be use for the intelligent signaling of streets,. Highways and avenues using specialize beacons to indicate the speed limit to the driver or the car itself.