Originally used for tracking, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is now used across industries for many purposes. Supply chains use RFID for asset management, but it is also used for access control, identification, payment systems, contactless smart cards and anti-theft in automobiles, to name a few.
The electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the Radio Frequency (RF) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is used to transmit signals. An RFID system consists of an antenna and a transceiver that reads the radio frequency and transfers the information to a processing device, and a transponder, or tag, which is an integrated circuit containing the radio frequency circuitry and information to be transmitted.
Radio Frequency ranges from 3Hz to 30GHz. Distance ranges from 40um to 4Km. One of the key differences between RFID and bar code technology is RFID eliminates the need for line-of-sight reading on which bar coding depends. RFID scanning can also be done at greater distances than bar code scanning. High frequency RFID systems (850 MHz to 950 MHz and 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz) offer transmission ranges of more than 90 feet, although wavelengths in the 2.4 GHz range are absorbed by water (the human body) and therefore has limitations.
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