By definition, RFID means Radio Frequency Identification. In practice, it is the wireless touch-free use of radio frequency waves to transfer data. This non-contact technology automatically identifies, and tracks tags attached to objects, using electromagnetic fields.
Why is RFID used?
Tagging items with RFID tags means you can automatically and uniquely identify and track people, assets, articles, animals, and vehicles and monitor their movements.
How does RFID work?
RFID recognises locations and identification of tagged items using low-power radio frequencies to collect and store data. A system consisting of RFID tags, an aerial, and a reader is used to send and receive data.
RFID devices can be active or passive. With an active tag, like those manufactured by Identec, it takes auto-ID technology to the next level, with an embedded power source that increases its operating range, powered on by a trigger. This durability makes them ideal for tracking. Active RFID tags use a battery to broadcast via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. A passive tag, however, has no power source; it is powered via the RFID reader, so is long-lasting, but has a more limited range of activity.
Where is RFID used?
RFID is used across many industry sectors including institutions such as hospitals, care homes, and prisons; transportation and logistics; sport; and animal tracking.
RFID technology is successfully used in many industries to improve efficiency and safety. For example, in healthcare, it offers an improved solution for staff and patient safety as well as infection control. In the workplace, it can mitigate against high-risk events through real-time alerts and accurate location information for emergency evacuation monitoring and safety roll call. In high-security premises, it avoids safety compromises with key tagging and tracking.
What are the advantages of RFID?
- RFID doesn't need a line of sight, unlike a barcode.
- RFID tags are durable and reusable.
- RFID is secure as data is encrypted.
What equipment do I need for RFID?
Apart from the physical tag attached to a person or asset, there are a couple of other essential components for RFID including the aerial (to detect the tag), the reader (to receive data). Contact your systems integrator or Identec to find out more about our products.