RFID technology has been in existence for over 6 decades. Consumers interact with the RFID technology in several forms. Employees use this technology to access buildings in which they work and the technology has also been used in making payments cards that do not require any form swiping. This brief tutorial drawn from the National Consumers League will be of great need in helping to make out what RFID is and the way it works.
What is RFID and how does it work?
This is a wireless technology that is mainly used in identifying things. An RFID system is mainly comprised of 3 components namely a reader, a tag, and a computer system.
The tag is called a transponder and it has a radio antenna and a microchip. The chip holds information about the object that it is fixed to. Through the use of radio signals, the tag relays the information to the reader. Once the reader receives the information, it then sends it to a computer system. On receiving the information, the computer uses the information provided in a number of ways depending with the settings. For instance, it can be used to allow access to a building or tracking of inventory.
How big are the tags?
The size of the chip is the determinant of how big the chip is. Some tags have the size of a grain of rice, thus can be implanted on the skin or be engraved in products. Some other tags have the size of a deck and can only be attached to cases or pallets. The amount of information that a tag can store also varies. The cheap tags have little memory while the ones that are expensive have superb power of computing.
How is RFID used in the real world?
Most of the consumers have had a chance to interact with the toll-pass kind of RFIDs. This type helps drivers to be still in their cars as they penetrate through booths without pausing to pay. The chip fitted in the toll-pass relays information to a reader whose location is a booth in the toll. The information received, the location of the reader, time, and date of the reading are transmitted to a computer system that can have databases linked to it. The databases may have other extensive information such as the fee to be paid and the account to be debited or billed. RFID technology is also used to control entry and exit in and out of certain buildings. The capability of RFIDs varies depending on the capability that they have, cost, and the sensitivity of the information that they have.
How close to the tag does the reader need to be?
This distance is dependent on whether the RFID tag is active or passive. Passive tags are the ones that have no self power source, while an active tag has a small battery or another power source that needs no reinforcement from the reader. Active tags can be read from a far.