073What RFID has...What RFID has...What RFID has...What RFID has... What itWhat itWhat itWhat it doesdoesdoesdoes............ What it meansWhat it meansWhat it meansWhat it means for businessfor businessfor businessfor business............so-called active or semi-passive tags. connectivity means data can be collected withoutthe individual tagged item being located or whena tag passes a fixed location reader, for example.
RFID tags can be found in under water applications, in contaminatedenvironments, in high-vibration areas, inareas where there is a risk of explosions.The adaptability of RFID tags means that they canbe used almost anywhere. They can be used toprovide identification rapidly in hazardous or demanding environments.
Anti-collision data protocols
One reader can collect data from a largenumber of tags at one time. Comparereading one bar-coded item at a time froma shopping basket with being able to placethat basket on a plinth and reading all of the items in less than a second, andwithout unpacking the basket.This feature makes possible mass data collectionapplications such as checking items on a palletleaving a warehouse as it passes through thewarehouse door or identifying everything in acabinet for stock checking.
Passive RFID tags (the most common) usethe radio signal to induce their power, sothey need no batteries or other power source.Tags can be made very small, making it possiblefor them to be attached to a wide range of devices or even to be injected into animals or humans.
No limit shelf life
Without batteries, passive RFID tags havea very long life both before use and after being applied. (even semi-passive tagswhich do have batteries will last up to 5 years)They can be used to track items over long periodsof time. An appliance tagged to allowidentification as part of a five year warrantyscheme, for example, would have no tag lifeproblems.
It is possible to record data or update dataon tags.Although most RFID applications only read datafrom tags, they can be updated, recording when atag was last checked for example.
Tags can be re-used
Depending on the type of tag used tagscan be re-cycled, removed from one itemand attached to another if the applicationrequires it or simply to save tag costs.Re-usability can save costs, especially if tags areused to track items through a process with a shortlife-cycle, such as stages in manufacturing or repair for example. Once one item has gonethrough the process the tag can be used to track another item if necessary. (Equally tags can beused to identify pallets or carrier baskets and their contents)
Although tags can be destroyed, tags canbe made secure so that any physicaltampering is obvious and data can beencrypted so that electronic tampering isprevented.RFID systems can provide authentication of tagged items such as tickets or vouchers, and canbe part of a system where items are securelyidentified.
Tags available in many different form factors
RFID tags are available in a wide range of formats from grain of rice sized glasscapsules to flat print on labels, from creditcards to key fobs, from tags embedded innails to tags attached to cables or even tothe legs of small birds.Tags can be made an integral part of manysystems. Their use need not intrude on other aspects of the process they are used to track.While tags are available in many standard formatsit is also possible to create customised tags inalmost any housing that can contain themicroprocessor (perhaps a millimetre or twosquare) and its antenna (size dependant on readrange and other aspects).