Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags
RFID is a form of wireless communication that uses radio waves to track and identify objects. For instance, all the grocery items within your cart with RFID tag can be simultaneously put under a scanner. The RFID tags, on all the items in your cart, communicate with an electronic reader at the store and generate billing immediately.
How RFID works?
RFID system consists of two components: RFID tag (smart label) and RFID reader. An RFID tag contains a microchip. To read the information encoded on a tag, the reader emits a signal towards tag. And the tag responds with the information stored in microchip. Then the reader collects information from tags and transfers it to a host computer system, where data can be stored and analysed.
RFID has multiple applications as follows:
- It is used in door locking system.
- It is used for automatic deduction of payment on toll booths.
- It is used for billing at retail stores.
- It is used to keep track of items.
RFID tags are of two types: active RFID and passive RFID. An active RFID tag has its own power source, often a battery. On the other hand, a passive RFID doesn’t require batteries; rather it receives its power from reader.
Why RFID is better than Barcodes?
Soon, barcodes can be replaced by smart labels, also called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. RFID can identify objects without direct line of sight. Also, it can scan many items (often 1000 or more) simultaneously, anywhere from inches to feet away depending upon type of tag. The read time for RFID tags is typically less than 100 milliseconds.
Barcodes, on the other hand, require direct line of sight and closer proximity than RFID. They also take longer to read, generally 0.5 second or more per tag