Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)


What are RFID devices?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the latest phase in the decades-old trend of the miniaturization of computers. RFID transponders are basically tiny resource-limited computers. There are two general types of transponder tages; active and passive. Active tags are powered by an internal battery which requires periodic replacement. The passive tags have no battery, but are inductively powered by their external reading devices, called RFID readers.

Once an RFID tag is activated, it decodes any incoming query signal and produces an appropriate response by modulating the request signal, using one or more sub carrier frequencies. RFID Tags can do a limited amount of processing and have a small amount (<1024 bits) of storage.


What are RFID devices used for?

RFID tags have found use in a wide variety of industries and applications including:

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Automated Payment
  • Physical Access Control
  • Counterfeit Prevention
  • Smart Homes and Offices

RFID tags are also implanted in all kinds of personal and consumer goods. For example, passports, partially assembled cars, frozen dinners, ski-lift passes, clothing, and public transportation tickets.

Implantable RFID tags for animals allow concerned owners to label their pets and livestock. Verichip Corp. has also created a slightly adapted implantable RFID chip about the size of a grain of rice for use in humans. Since its introduction, the Verichip was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and this tiny chip is currently deployed in both commercial and medical systems.


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