around (for instance various kinds of vehicles), wiring becomes very complex or even infeasible. The ZigBeetechnology, however, can easily solve this problem.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a non-contactautomatic identification technology, whose basic principle isto use the space coupling (inductive or electromagneticcoupling) of the radio frequency signal or the reflectivetransmission characteristics to achieve the automaticidentification of objects (tags) and the information’s input or output.
Figure 2. A Simple RFID System
An RFID system can be divided into at least two types of components – the tag and the reader, as shown in Figure 2.The tag is the data carrier in the RFID system. It consistsof an antenna and a chip specially designed for tags. There aremany ways to classify the different kinds of tags:
Classified by the power supply modes, there areactive tags, passive tags and semi-passive tags. Activetags have batteries in them but the passive ones donot .
Classified by the working frequencies, there are lowfrequency tags (30kHz ~ 300kHz), high frequencytags (3MHz ~ 30MHz), ultra-high frequency tags(300MHz ~ 3GHz) and microwave frequency tags(>3GHz).
Classified by the encapsulations, there are credit cardtags, line tags, paper-like tags, special-purpose tagsand so on .The reader is a device to read or write the data on the tags.Just like the radio, if a reader is to work, it has to be under thesame frequency with the tags. There are also some differentways of classification for the readers:
Classified by the working principles: there are mainlyinductive coupling readers and electromagnetic backscatter coupling readers  .
Classified by the different sequences in time: some arefull duplex, some are half duplex and some arecontrolled by special SEQ system .
Classified by the fixations: some are fixed on theground, some are handheld and some are attached onthe moving objects  .
ZigBee is a technology of following IEEE 802.15.4Protocol. Low complexity, low cost, low power consumption,low transmitting rate, high reliability, wireless short distancetransmission (compared with global Internet), and beingcapable of ad-hoc networks are all its features. It is suitable for the fields of automatic control and remote control, and it can be embedded in many different devices. In short, ZigBee is awireless ad-hoc networks capable communication technologywhich is cheap and low power consumption.The principle of ZigBee is not very complex. Devicesusing ZigBee technology can automatically connect to other devices around them, and those RFID devices form a lot of data paths, so different nodes can transfer their information tothe end-users through the different paths. A simple ZigBeenetwork is shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. A Simple ZigBee Network
Advantages of RFID and ZigBee
RFID has many advantages. Compared with bar code andtwo-dimension code, its advantage lies in the way to read andstore the data. RFID tags can contain more data, can be read or written in remote distance and the reader can read more thanone tags at the same time, owing to the anti-collisiontechnology. A traditional bar code can only store a few or adozen English letters or Arabic numbers, and two-dimensionalcode can store dozens of letters, but it is unable to storeChinese characters, graphics or information in some other forms. Both bar code and two-dimension code are read-only.Meanwhile, an RFID tag can store more than 4MB so far, andthere is no limit on the data type and data structure. For the reader can read several tags at the same timewithout contact, the efficiency is obviously improved. TheRFID technology can monitor the objects (tags) in real-time.