(RFID) Radio Frequency Identification
A technology that uses microchips approximately the size of a grain of salt, that each store a unique ID that can be interrogated or read from a distance. The interrogator can read hundreds of tags per second with no line of sight, which means that an RFID chip can be completely concealed inside a box or container and still be read as though its ID were written in bold letters on the side of the box.
How can it help your business?
There are many benefits available to the retailer who implements RFID in their business. Some of those benefits may not be as obvious but are definitely as rewarding. The greatest ROI for RFID implementation is being seen with smaller companies that have up to $100 million in annual revenue. In fact 54% of companies surveyed recently by Aberdeen Research Group have found success with RFID
RFID tags can be read in a wide variety of circumstances, where barcodes or other optically read technologies are useless.
* The tag need not be on the surface of the object (and is therefore not subject to wear)
* The read time is typically less than 100 millisecond
* Large numbers of tags can be read at once rather than item by item.
A Radio-Frequency Identification system has three parts:
* A scanning antenna
* A transceiver with a decoder to interpret the data
* A transponder – the RFID tag – that has been programmed with information.
The scanning antenna puts out radio-frequency signals in a relatively short range. The RF radiation does two things:
* It provides a means of communicating with the transponder (the RFID tag) AND
* It provides the RFID tag with the energy to communicate
This is an absolutely key part of the technology; RFID tags do not need to contain batteries, and can therefore remain usable for very long periods of time (maybe decades).
The scanning antennas can be permanently affixed to a surface; handheld antennas are also available. They can take whatever shape you need; for example, you could build them into a door frame to accept data from persons or objects passing through.
When an RFID tag passes through the field of the scanning antenna, it detects the activation signal from the antenna. That “wakes up” the RFID chip, and it transmits the information on its microchip to be picked up by the scanning antenna