Scanning is considered as electronics imaging. An electronic imaging system usually consists of an input scanner which converts an optical image into electrical signal. This is followed by electronic hardware and software for processing or manipulation of the signal and for storage and/or transmission to an output scanner. The latter converts the final version of the signal back into optical (visible) image, typically for transient (softcopy) or permanent (hardcopy) display to a human observer. The scanning system can be divided by using infrared technology and radio frequency technology.


Wireless Communication / RF Technology

Wireless communication systems require frequency signals for the efficient transmission of information. Since the signal frequency is inversely related to its wavelength, antennas operating at RFs and microwaves have higher radiation efficiencies. Radio Frequency (RF) refers specifically to the electromagnetic field, or radio wave, that is generated when an alternating current is input to an antenna. This field can be used for wireless broadcasting and communications over a significant portion of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum from about 9 kilohertz (kHz) to thousands of gigahertz (GHz). As the frequency is increased beyond the RF spectrum, electromagnetic energy takes the form of infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays. Further, their size is relatively small and hence convenient for mobile communication. Another factor that favors RFs and microwaves is that the transmission of broadband information signals requires a high-frequency carrier signal. Wireless technology has been expending very fast. In addition to the traditional applications in communication, such as radio and television. RF and microwaves signal are being used in works and personal communication service. Keyless door entry, radio frequency identification (RFID), monitoring of patients in hospital or a nursing home, cordless keyboards for computers are and many measuring and instrumentation systems


used in manufacturing some of the other areas where RF technology is being used and operate at infrared or visible light frequencies. The RF spectrum is divided into several ranges, or bands. Each of these bands, other than the lowest frequency segment, represents an increase of frequency corresponding to an order of magnitude (power of ten). The electromagnetic spectrum is a continuum of all electromagnetic waves arranged according to frequency and wavelength. Electromagnetic radiation is classified into types according to the frequency and length of the wave. Visible light that comes from a lamp in your house or radio waves transmitted by a radio station are just two of the many types of electromagnetic radiation. An electromagnetic wave consists of the electric and magnetic components. These components repeat or oscillate at right angles to each other and to the direction of propagation, and are in phase with each other.

Figure 1 : An electromagnetic waves These frequencies make up part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum such as below:
• • • •

Ultra-low frequency (ULF) -- 0-3 Hz Extremely low frequency (ELF) -- 3 Hz - 3 kHz Very low frequency (VLF) -- 3kHz - 30 kHz Low frequency (LF) -- 30 kHz - 300 kHz 2

• • • • • •

Medium frequency (MF) -- 300 kHz - 3 MHz High frequency (HF) -- 3MHz - 30 MHz Very high frequency (VHF) -- 30 MHz - 300 MHz Ultra-high frequency (UHF)-- 300MHz - 3 GHz Super high frequency (SHF) -- 3GHz - 30 GHz Extremely high frequency (EHF) -- 30GHz - 300 GHz


Radio waves

Radio waves can propagate from transmitter to receiver in four ways: through ground waves, sky waves, free space waves, and open field waves. Ground waves exist only for vertical polarization, produced by vertical antennas, when the transmitting and receiving antennas are close to the surface of the earth. The transmitted radiation induces currents in the earth, and the waves travel over the earth's surface, being attenuated according to the energy absorbed by the conducting earth. The reason that horizontal antennas are not effective for ground wave propagation is that the horizontal electric field that they create is short circuited by the earth.

Figure 2 : Geometry of Tropo-Scatter Signal Propagation Ground wave propagation is dominant only at relatively low frequencies, up to a few MHz, so it needn't concern us here. Sky wave propagation is dependent on reflection from the ionosphere, a region of rarified air high above the earth's surface that is ionized by sunlight (primarily ultraviolet radiation). The ionosphere is responsible for long-distance communication in the 3

high-frequency bands between 3 and 30 MHz. It is very dependent on time of day, season, longitude on the earth, and the multiyear cyclic production of sunspots on the sun. It makes possible long-range communication using very low power transmitters. Most short-range communication applications that we deal with in this chapter use VHF, UHF, and microwave bands, generally above 40 MHz. There are times when ionospheric reflection occurs at the low end of this range, and then sky wave propagation can be responsible for interference from signals originating hundreds of kilometers away. The most important propagation mechanism for short-range communication on the VHF and UHF bands is that which occurs in an open field, where the received signal is a vector sum of a direct line-of-sight signal and a signal from the same source that is reflected off the earth. Later we discuss the relationship between signal strength and range in line-of-sight and open field topographies. The range of line-of-sight signals, when there are no reflections from the earth or ionosphere, is a function of the dispersion of the waves from the transmitter antenna. In this freespace case the signal strength decreases in inverse proportion to the distance away from the transmitter antenna.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a system that facilitates the tracking of objects, primarily for inventory tracking, via a three-part technology comprised of a reader, a transceiver with decoder and a transponder (RF Tag). RFID is a wireless system that works in conjuction with an organization’s information technology infrastructure to improve business processes such as inventory management and efficiency in supply chain management. The RFID is not a new technology. For example, the principles of RFID were employed by the British in World War II to identify their aircraft using the IFF system (Identify Friend or Foe). Later, work on access control that is more closely related to modern RFID, was carried at Los Alamos National Laboratories during the 1960s, RFID tags incorporated in employee badges enabled automatic identification of people to limit access to secure areas, and had the additional advantage that it made the badges hard to forge. For many years this technology has been 4

relatively obcure, although it has been adopted in various niche domains, such as to identify animals, make toys interactive, improve car-key designs, label airline luggage, time marathon runners, prevent theft, enable automatic toll-way billing (smart tag), and many forms of ID badge for access control. Today, it is even being applied to validate money and passports, and as a tamper safeguard for product packing.

Figure 3: RFID chip


RFID Topology

An RFID system consists of a tag made up of a microchip with an antenna, and an interrogator or reader with an antenna. The reader sends out electromagnetic waves. The tag antenna is tuned to receive these waves. A passive RFID tag draws power from the field created by the reader and uses it to power the microchip's circuits. The chip then modulates the waves that the tag sends back to the reader, which converts the new waves into digital data. In its minimalist configuration the micro-topology requires

just four sub-systems, as follows: i. ii. iii. iv. Tag Reader Air Interface Computer Communication and Control


The most demanding macro-topology involves pervasive tagging where sophisticated Readers are simultaneously interrogating multiple tags in a dynamic environment. In this scenario, anti collision algorithms are required in addition to data handling processes for large velocity data streams.

Figure 4 :Basic RFID system consists of three components a. Tags The basic RFID building blocks are miniature electronic devices known as Tags which talk to Readers. The RFID tags, also known as transponder, are usually small pieces of material, typically comprising three components: an antenna, a microchip unit containing memory storage an encapsulating material. Tag are embedded or attached to an item. The Tag has memory which stores information as either read only, write once or unlimited read/write. Tags typically range in size from a postage stamp to a book, depending on read distance and features. RFID tags come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Implementation of tags is animal tracking tags, inserted beneath the skin, can be as small as a pencil lead in diameter and one-half inch in length. Tags can be screw-shaped to identify trees or wooden items, or credit-card shaped for use in access applications. The anti-theft hard plastic tags attached to merchandise in stores are RFID tags. In addition, heavy-duty 5- by 4- by 2-inch rectangular transponders used to track intermodal containers or heavy machinery, trucks, and railroad cars for maintenance and tracking applications are RFID tags.


Figure 5 : RFID Tags RFID tags are categorized into active and passive. They are fundamentally distinct technologies with substantially different capabilities. Both of the technology use radio frequency energy to communicate between a tag and a reader, the method of powering the tags is different. Active RFID tags are powered by an internal battery or internal power source continuously power the tag and its RF communication circuitry and are typically read/write, i.e., tag data can be rewritten and/or modified. While passive RFID tags operate without a separate external power source and obtain operating power generated from the reader. The passive RFID relies on RF energy transferred from the reader to be tag to power the tag. Passive tags are consequently much lighter than active tags, less expensive, and offer a virtually unlimited operational lifetime. Item Tag power source Tag battery Availability of Tag Power Required signal strength from reader to Tag Available signal strength from tag to Reader Table 1 : Technical differences between Active and Passive RFID technologies While this distinction may seem minor on the surface, its impact on the functionality of the system is significant. Passive RFID either 1) reflects energy from the reader or 2) absorbs and temporarily stores a very small amount of energy from the reader’s signal to generate its own quick response. In either case, passive RFID operation requires very strong signals from the reader, and the signal strength returned from the tag is constrained to very low levels by the limited energy. Active RFID Long range (100m and above) 7 Passive RFID Short or very short range (3m Active RFID Internal to tag Yes Continuous Low High Passive RFID Energy transferred from reader via RF No Only within field of reader High (must power the tag) Low

Communication range

Multi-tag collection


Collect 1000s of tags over a 7 acre region from a single reader.

or less) i.

Collect’s hundreds of tags within 3 meters from a single reader.


Collects 20 tags moving at more than 100 mph ii. Collects 20 tags moving at 3 mph or

Sensor capability

Ability to continuously monitor and record sensor input; data/time stamp for sensor events

slower. Ability to read and transfer sensor values only when tag is powered by reader; no date/time stamp

Data storage

Large read/write data storage (128kb) with the sophisticated data search and access capabilities available

Small read/write data storage (e.g. 128 bytes)

Table 2 : Functional capabilities of Active and Passive RFID technologies

Item Boxes individual luggage Unit Load Device

Characteristics Structured, orderly process for loading • Unstructured movement throughout airport facility • Security requirements Structured, orderly process for loading-dedicated loading stations conveyors Structured or unstructured movement, depanding on situation

Technology Passive RFID Active RFID

Boxes Cartons Individual Items Pallet

Passive RFID Passive RFID or Active RFID


Intermodal Container

• • • • • •

Security requirements Area monitoring within ports, terminals Roadside monitoring Area monitoring within ports, terminals Roadside monitoring Intransit visibility

Active RFID

Chassis, rail car, other conveyance

Active RFID

Table 3 : Complementary use of Active and Passive RFID As usual every electrical applicant has their own problem of implementation. Such as the RFID tags with the tag collision. Tag collision occurs when more than one transponder reflects back a signal at the same time, confusing the reader. Different vendors have developed different systems for having the tags respond to the reader one at a time. These involve using algorithms to "singulate" the tags. Since each tag can be read in milliseconds, it appears that all the tags are being read simultaneously.

b. Reader


The Reader is able to talk to the Tag using radio waves over the air to send or receive information. The distance between the Tag and Reader for the radio waves to be strong enough for the devices to talk with each other is an important specification in building a reliable RFID system. Once you have reliable radio communications between the Tag and the Reader the system may take action based on results of their communication. RFID may send information downstream to your legacy systems or update digital information stored on the Tag. This wide range of options and the real time capability of RFID give it exciting new capabilities, distinct advantages and specific costs to build its infrastructure. Types of ActiveWave RFID Readers. There are several types of Readers available. Please refer to data sheets for more details. Fixed Reader AC Power Fixed Reader DC Power PC-Card Reader Handheld Reader 120/230 Volts AC 12 Volt DC For use with portable devices in trucks, forklifts, etc. Has a wireless link to standard ActiveWave RFID readers

The disadvantage of the reader is the RFID reader overlaps with another reader called reader collision. This causes two different problems: i. Signal interference

The RF fields of two or more readers may overlap and interfere. This can be solved by having the readers programmed to read at fractionally different times. This technique (called time division multiple access - TDMA) can still result in the same tag being read twice. ii. Multiple reads of the same tag

The problem here is that the same tag is read one time by each of the overlapping readers. The only solution is to program the RFID system to make sure that a given tag (with its unique ID number) is read only once in a session.


Figure 6 : RFID reader c. Frequencies RFID systems are also distinguished by their frequency ranges. Low-frequency (30 KHz to 500 KHz) systems have short reading ranges and lower system costs. They are most commonly used in security access, asset tracking, and animal identification applications. High-frequency (850 MHz to 950 MHz and 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz) systems, offering long read ranges (greater than 90 feet) and high reading speeds, are used for such applications as railroad car tracking and automated toll collection. However, the higher performance of high-frequency RFID systems incurs higher system costs.
Different countries have allotted different parts of the radio spectrum for RFID, so no single technology optimally satisfies all the requirements of existing and potential markets. The industry has worked diligently to standardize three main RF bands: low frequency (LF), 125 to 134 kHz; high frequency (HF), 13.56 MHz; and ultrahigh frequency (UHF), 860 to 960 MHz. Most countries have assigned the 125 or 134 kHz areas of the spectrum for low-frequency systems, and 13.56 MHz is used around the world for high-frequency systems (with a few exceptions), but UHF systems have only been around since the mid1990s, and countries have not agreed on a single area of the UHF spectrum for RFID.

European Union

Table 4 : Country frequency range for RFID Frequency
UHF bandwidth ranges from 865 to 868 MHz with interrogators able to transmit at maximum power (2 watts ERP) at the center of that bandwidth (865.6 to 867.6 MHz) UHF bandwidth ranges from 902 to 928 MHz with readers able to transmit at maximum power (1 watt ERP) for most of that bandwidth 11 UHF RFID ranges from 920 to 926 MHz Maximum of 200 kHz in bandwidth 500 kHz Ranges from 840.25 to 844.75 MHz and 920.25 to 924.75 MHz ranges for UHF tags and interrogators used in that country

North America Australia European North America China

d. An RFID antenna

Connected to the RFID reader, can be of various size and structure, depending on the communication distance required for a given system’s performance. The antenna activates the RFID tag and transfers data by emitting wireless pulses.

e. An RFID station Made up of an RFID reader and an antenna. It can read information stored into the RFID tag and also update this RFID tag with new information. It generally holds application software specifically designed for the required task. RFID stations may be mounted in arrays around transfer points in industrial processes to automatically track assets as they are moving through the process.


Potential Uses of RFID Technology

Many public and private sector organizations are either using or planning to use RFID technology. Because the technology basically turns an inert object into one capable of communicating, the potential for use is enormous and limited only by our imagination and the capabilities of the technology involved. Potential uses include: a. Supply Chain Management (monitoring and controlling the flow of goods from raw materials through to finished product, from manufacturer to consumer); b. Product Integrity (ensuring that products (e.g., pharmaceuticals) are authentic and have not been altered in any way); c. Warranty Services (marking durable goods with a tag incorporating a product registration code to facilitate warranty services);


d. ID, Travel, and Ticketing (providing a means to verify the identity of the traveler and to ensure that the documents are genuine); e. Baggage Tracking (monitoring and controlling the movement of baggage from check-in to loading on an airplane); and f. Patient Care and Management (providing a means to rapidly and accurately verify information concerning patient allergies, prescription history, etc. to prevent surgical errors).


Figure 7 : Usage application of RFID Operating frequency Low freq. 125kHz – 134 kHz Advantage Widely deployed, broad global, frequency deployment, metal interferes minimal Widely deployed, broad global frequency deploy, minimally affected by moisture Widely deployed, read range is significantly greater than other standards Read range is significantly greater than other standard. Liabilities Read range limited to less than 1.5 meters Applications Animal tracking, container tracking, antitheft system Library asset tracking, access control, baggage tracking, retail product tracking Pallet, container tracking, vehicle tracking

High Freq. 13.56 MHz

Read range limited to less than 1.5 meters; metal poses serious interference problem Adversely affected by moisture; not liciensed for use in Japan; adjacent tags cause detuning Not widely deployed; complex implementation; not licienced in parts of Europe

Ultra High Freq. 868 mHz – 928 MHz

Microwave 2.45 GHz

Vehicle access control


Table 5 : Common usage of RFID


Privacy Concerns

Notwithstanding the current state of RFID technology or current practices, certain aspects of the technology – notably the small size of the tags and the ability to uniquely identify an object – pose potential threats to individual privacy. These include, but are not necessarily limited to the following: a) Surreptitious collection of information. RFID tags are small and can be embedded into/onto objects and documents without the knowledge of the individual who obtains those items. As radio waves travel easily and silently through fabric, plastic, and other materials and are not restricted to line of sight, it is possible to read RFID tags sewn into clothing or affixed to objects contained in purses, shopping bags, suitcases, and more. Tags can be read from a distance, by readers that can be incorporated invisibly into nearly any environment where human beings or items congregate. It may not, therefore, be readily apparent that RFID technology is in use, making it virtually impossible for a consumer to know when or if he or she is being "scanned”; b) Tracking an individual’s movements. If RFID tags are embedded in clothing or vehicles, for example, and if there is a sufficiently dense network of readers in place, it becomes possible to track those tags in time and space. Applications to do just this, using a combination of RFID and Global Positioning System technology, are being proposed by RFID vendors. If the tags can then be associated with an individual, then by that association the individual’s movements can be tracked. For example, a tag embedded in an article of clothing could serve as a de facto identifier for the person wearing it. Even if information about the tagged item remains generic, identifying items people wear or carry could associate them with, for example, particular events like political rallies or protests. For Malaysia government, we are applying the RFID technology for the Malaysian hajj at Mecca. They are supplied with hand tag to trace them especially if they are lost during hajj season;


c) Profiling of individuals. RFID technology potentially enables every object on earth to have its own unique ID (i.e., each bottle of water would have a unique identifier). The use of unique ID numbers could lead to the creation of a global item registration system in which every physical object is identified and linked to its purchaser or owner at the point of sale or transfer. If these unique identifiers are associated with an individual (by linking through a credit card number, for example), then a profile of that individual’s purchasing habits can easily be created. The example of RFID profiling of individual such as China to issue over a billion identification cards - one to every citizen. An example ID badge from Intermec Technologies, currently used for expedited border crossings between the U.S. and Candada, is shown below by using the RFID technology.

Figure 9 : Intellitag ID d) Secondary use (particularly in the sense of limiting or controlling such use). The creation of profiles and the tracking of movement can reveal a great deal of additional information. For example, the revelation of personal information such as medical prescription or personal health histories could have an impact on the availability of insurance or employment such as The Federal Drug Administration has approved a final review process to determine whether hospitals can use VeriChip RFID tags to identify patients. The 11-millimeter RFID tags will be implanted in the fatty tissue of the upper arm. The estimated life of the tags is twenty years.


Figure 8 : VeriChip RFID The VeriChip is a radio frequency identification (RFID) device that is injected just below the skin; the subdermal RFID tag location is invisible to the naked eye. A unique verification number is transmitted to a suitable reader when the person is within range.
e. Automatic Tracking System – Active tags can be programmed with contents and assigned

locations and then placed on containers and pallets that are stored in a warehouse. Additional information can be collected and added to the RFID tags as the pallets move through the warehouse. The tracking system can identify unscheduled movement, so managers and security can be alerted to possible theft. Automatic tracking system can identify and keep track of goods that are located anywhere in the warehouse or in any other part of the building when is RFID is aplied. The amount of idle inventory tied up in storage can be greatly reduced through effective use of the information provided by the system. This technology reduce the time and cost for counting stock as it enters the warehouse by collecting the data automatically and virtually eliminating the need for manual intervention. f.


Figure 9 : Keeping Pallets Intact

a. b. c. d. e. f.

Advantage of RFID No line of sight requirement. The tag can stand a harsh environment. Long read range. Larger area of coverage. Up to several feet. Portable database Multiple tag read/write. Tracking people, items, and equipment in realtime. Non-line of sight identification of tags

Unattended operations are possible, minimizing human errors and high cost. 18

h. i.

Ability to identify moving elements that have tags embedded. Can be used in diverse environments, including live stock, military, and scientific areas. RFID can be used in addition to Bar Code. These two technologies can be complementing each other. Automatic integration with back end software solutions provide end to end integration of data in real time. Labor reduction Enchanced visibility and forecasting Improved inventory management. Simultaneous automatic reading.



l. m. n. o.

Figure 10 : Multipurpose usage of RFID 2.5 Disadvantage of RFID

a. Bulkier, due to embedding of electronic components in the tag. However, with advanced techniques, it is possible to reduce the size, and weight of the tags to a large extent. b. Prone to physical/electrical damage due to environmental conditions. For example, tags that are subjected to space exploration may encounter extreme temperatures. The tags required to be designed for a given application, and may be costly when designed for use under extreme environmental conditions. 19

c. Dead areas and orientation problems - RFID works similar to the way a cell phone or wireless network does. Just like these technologies, there may be certain areas that have weaker signals or interference. In addition, poor read rates are sometimes a problem when the tag is rotated into an orientation that does not align well with the reader. These issues can usually be minimized by properly implementing multiple readers and using tags with multiple axis antennas. d. Security concerns - Because RFID is not a line of sight technology like barcoding, new security problems could develop. For example, a competitor could set up a high gain directional antenna to scan tags in trucks going to a warehouse. From the data received, this competitor could determine flow rates of various products. Additionally, when RFID is used for high security operations such as payment methods, fraud is always a possibility. e. Ghost tags - In rare cases, if multiple tags are read at the same time the reader will sometimes read a tag that does not exist. Therefore, some type of read verification, such as a CRC, should be implemented in either the tag, the reader or the data read from the tag.
g. Proximity issues - Tags cannot be read well when placed on metal or liquid objects or

when these objects are between the reader and the tag. Nearly any object that is between the reader and the tag reduces the distance the tag can be read from.
h. High cost - Because this technology is new, the components and tags are expensive

compared to barcodes. In addition, software and support personnel that are needed to install and operate the RFID reading systems (in a warehouse for example) may be more costly to employ.

Unread tags - When reading multiple tags at the same time, it is possible that some tags will not be read and there is no sure method of determining this when the objects are not in sight. This problem does not occur with barcodes, because when the barcode is scanned, it is instantly verified when read by a beep from the scanner and the data can then be entered manually if it does not scan.



Vulnerable to damage - Water, static discharge or high power magnetic surges (such as from a close lightning strike) may damage the tags.


Barcode Technology

A barcode is a sequence of dark bars on a light background, or the equivalent of this with the respect to the light-reflecting properties on the surface. The coding is contains in the relative widths or spacings of the dark bars and light spaces. Perhaps the most familiar barcode is the universal product code (UPC) which appears on nearly all of the grocery items in supermarket today. A barcode scanner is an optical device that reads the code by scanning a focused beam of light, generally a laser beam, across the bar code and detecting the variations in reflected light. The scanner converts these light variations into electrical variations that are subsequently digitized


and fed into the decoding unit, which is programmed to convert the relative widths of the digitized dark/ light spacings into numbers and/or letters. The concept of barcode scanning for automatic identification purposes was first proposed by N.J. Woodland and B. Silver in a patent application field in 1949. The barcode scanners can be classified into two main categories. They are contact readers and non contact readers. Contact readers: These devices are normally held in the hands. To read a barcode this type of readers must either touch the code or come close to it. Non-contact readers: These devices need not be close to the barcode to read the code. These scanners use either a moving beam or a stationary beam, but mostly they have a moving laser light beam. These scanners come in both handheld and fixed mount configurations. In barcode scanning, depth of field is the distance along the laser beam, centered around the focal point of the scanner, over which the barcode can be successfully scanned. The depth of field of a barcode scanner is established by the beam diameter at the focal point of the scanner, the wavelength of the laser light source, and the size of the minimum bar width in the barcode being read. Holographic scanning disks used in barcode scanners are frequently designed to be illuminated with a collimated beam incident normal to the surface of the holographic disk. How does the barcode scanner read the image? Well, there is a linear photodiode within the scanner head. This photodiode can read the reflected light off the lines on the barcode. This reflection is a digital image that is then scanned electronically within the devise. When the image is scanned electronically, each bar on the barcode is converted to the corresponding number or letter.


Figure 11 : Barcode technology

Linear bar codes are used in many applications where the use of a simple numeric or alphanumeric code can provide the key to a database of "products". The most obvious limitation is the amount of data that can be stored in a linear bar code, though other problems can exist with the substrate that the bar code is printed on providing insufficient contrast or poor ink receptivity which can cause the quality of the bar code to be less than ideal.

3.1 Advantage of barcode technology
i. ii.

Use of barcodes provides a fast, easy and accurate mechanism to enter data into a computer system for data collection or data lookup Accelerates workflow efficiency and speed ups throughput process Eliminate data entry errors Achieve data accuracy in backend host application The barcode scanner interprets a unique identity of every product. The occurrence of errors is almost zero. The process is time and cost-effective. Access to total production costs is possible. 23

iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii.

ix. x. xi.

There is a huge saving in the terms of labor effort. Established quality standard Easy to use Mature and proven technology Affordable

xiii. 3.2

Disadvantage of barcode technology a. Optical line-of-sight scanning b. Limited visibility c. Incapable of item level tracking d. Labor intensive e. Susceptible to environment damage. f. Prone to human error.


RFID technology versus Barcode Technology

Given below are the brief differences between the Barcode technology and RFID: Parameter Frequencies used for tag reading Type of communication Data Volume Bar Code Optical frequencies Line of sight communication Physical limitation exists. It is very difficult to read a very Range of data readability Cost long barcode. Very limited range, less than a feet or two. Cheap 24 RFID Radio frequencies Non-line of sight communication Can carry relatively large volume of data. Can be read up to several feet. Expensive, but likely

to cost less as more industries adopt the Physical Size Lifespan Counterfeiting Large Unlimited Bar Codes may easily be duplicated and attached to products and are, therefore, easily counterfeited technology. Small Multi-year lifespan Tags are produced with a unique identity code (UIC) or serial number from the manufacturer. This is embedded digitally on the microchip and may not be changed, therefore, making them extremely resistant to counterfeiting Dynamic Updates Once a Bar Code is printed it remains frozen. The Code and the process of attaching the BC is not supportive of real time updates. It is a labor intensive process to update any information on a BC once printed. Tags may be written to and offer on board memory to retain information. This feature may be used to store a product calibration history, preventive maintenance, etc. Updates may be made within the blink of an eye and automatically without human intervention. Scanning Bar Code must be presented to the scanner in an orientation and distance that is very limited. Individual reading requires that each box on a pallet be opened and the item pulled for presentation to the scanner. 25 Offers a range from inches to hundreds of feet and does not require line of sight. This means that individual Tags placed within a carton, packed in a box and stored on a pallet may be read. You do

not have to open each box and present the individual item. Simultaneous Scanning Standards have algorithms to support simultaneous reading of Tags at one time. Reusable Yes Limited to one bar code at a time. Unable to support simultaneous reads. No


Other scanning technologies available

Besides barcode and RFID technology, there are few of scanner systems which is used in several field. a. EBT Scanning Technology Electron Beam Tomography (EBT) is the only imaging technology approved by the FDA for the early detection of heart disease. It uses a high-speed electron beam to scan the heart, non-invasively, for the presence of calcium deposits. Calcium is a marker for plaque formation, also called atherosclerosis. By measuring the amount of calcium present in and around your coronary arteries, it can provide an accurate picture of how much plaque you have accumulated. That's important, because the more plaque you have, the more likely you are to have a heart attack. EBT captures images at 1/20th of a second – far faster than imaging technologies such as CT or MRI. Speed is critically important, because your heart is in constant motion. EBT is the only


non-invasive technology that's fast enough to create a clear picture of what's happening inside your arteries. i. ii. iii. iv.

EBT is the only scanning technology approved by the FDA to image calcified plaque. Only EBT has the scientific validation of hundreds of research studies at major institutions across the nation. UltraFast CT may expose you to up to ten times the amount of radiation you'd receive from an EBT scan. EBT is highly targeted on the heart tissue. EBT has proven to be extremely accurate. EBT is repeatable


b. Biometric scanning system

The main biometrics systems on the market work by scanning an individual's fingerprints, hands, face, iris, retina, voice pattern, signature, or strokes on a keyboard. According to Hogan, finger scanning accounts for 34 percent of biometric system sales, followed by hand scanning with 26 percent, face scanning with 15 percent, voice scanning and eye scanning with 11 percent each, and signature scanning with 3 percent. Retinal scanning—which reads the blood vessels in the back of the eye and requires the user to be within six inches of the scanning device—is the most accurate system but also the least likely to enjoy widespread use because of people's natural protectiveness toward their eyes. When you present your fingerprint or iris, the biometric reader creates a digitised template which will be used to recognise you in the future. The template is stored, either in a central system, or on your card. Biometric scanning is already used in many workplaces, high-tech laptops, and on passports in some European countries. It is also being proposed for the new Identity Cards which could soon be compulsory in the UK. Biometric scanners are currently used to register asylum seekers and monitor travellers passing through major airports. 27

One benefit of biometrics is that it relieves people from the burden of remembering dozens of different passwords to company computer networks, e-mail systems, Web sites, etc. In addition to creating distinct passwords for each system they use or Web site they visit, people are expected to change their passwords frequently. Employees who have trouble remembering their passwords may be more likely to keep a written list in a desk drawer or posted on a bulletin board, thus creating a security risk. But biometrics offers an easy solution to this problem. A related problem with passwords is that they do not provide reliable security. In fact, hackers can download password-cracking software for free on the Internet that will test the most obvious combinations of characters for each user on a system and often find a way in. Electronic retailers have found that their prospective customers are aware of the unreliable nature of password-based security systems.



RFID technology is already replacing bar codes in niche applications. Pundits have high hopes for this technology to be a universal replacement for the barcode. Just like photocopiers that replaced carbon paper, RFID provides greater options and is rich with value add possibilities. Since RFID uses digital electronics the cost is dropping dramatically while benefits improve. As a result, RFID is creating new processes, markets and opportunities.


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