Radio Frequency Identification is a growing technology which has far-reaching implications on consumers more so on privacy.
What is RFID technology?
RFID is an identification system that uses ID in its work. A chip that is implanted on a tag is the platform on which RFID works. The chip has the ability to record and stockpile various data such as price and serial numbers. The said tag can be appended to several things such as vehicles, collars of animals, and shipping containers. In order to read the tag, radio signals are applied by the electronic scanner.
For instance, a hand-held RFID reader can be used by a warehouse worker for purposes of tracking and checking inventory. The data scanned by the RFID reader might be number only, but the numbers can be compared with what the computer database has so as to know the stock that the company has. RFID technology came into being in identification of affable aircrafts during the Second World War. The technology has been commercialized in the recent past and exploding into fame. You could have interacted with products which are RFID enabled such as:
- Car keys that are fitted with an anti-theft chip, and you cannot start your car without a valid code.
- The Speed-pass key chain which is able to debit your bank account once you pump your gas.
What is the difference between the antique bar code and an RFID/EPC tag?
While they have the similar uses, there are critical differences between the traditional product codes and the emerging technology.
- Item tagging as opposed to the traditional product level tagging
Each tag is fitted with an individual code for identification purposes since the memory of RFID tags has a computer chip. This supersedes the antique bar code that was printed and whose memory was not as much. This therefore means that RFID tags have the ability to track and identify individual items. On the other hand, bar codes can only read the product category where an item is found. For instance, DVD players on a shelf could be of the same make, be in the same box, and have similar prices. Such DVD players would have similar bar codes on the boxes meaning that they are of the same type. In the coming days, each DVD player will be fitted with a unique code making the work of the store personnel to track the exact location of the DVD player.
- Scanning power enhanced
According to traditional technology of bar codes, there was a light-based reader that must use a scanner to read the code. Since RFID technology makes use of radio waves, the signal of the tag must be at a certain distance so that the reader can properly read it.
The retail sector is not the only one that uses RFID technology. Other industries are also exploring the RFID technology such as the pharmaceutical industry. This is an industry that is faced with counterfeit drugs that could harm people.