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Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology whereby digital data encoded in RFID tags or smart labels are captured by a reader via radio waves.

How does it work?

RFID tags have read and write capabilities. Data stored on RFID tags can be changed, updated and locked. In most of the RFID systems, tags are attached to all items that are to be tracked.

RFID tags are fast to read and store up to 8 KB of data. Multiple tags can be read at the same time. An RFID system is made up of two parts: a tag or label and a reader. Also, the RFID tag itself has two parts: a microchip that stores and processes information, and an antenna to receive and transmit a signal.

RFID tags are either passive or active.  A passive RFID tag will use the interrogator’s radio wave energy to relay its stored information back to the interrogator.  An active, battery-powered RFID tag is embedded with a small battery that powers the relay of information.

RFID works almost like little computer: - Fast, read miltiple tags at the same time. - Store up to 8KB of data. The traditional way of tracking has been using barcodes: - Slow, reads only one barcode at the time. - No data storing capabilities.

RFID uses radio waves to track the items. It means that you don't need to directs line of sight to tag. Either reader or tag has to be active. In most likely scenario reader is active and tags is passive. It means that reader powers tag using radio-waves and enables tag to receive and send information back to reader.

 

RFID systems can be used in a variety of ways – here are some examples.

 

1. Easy access control and contactless payment.

You may have already used RFID tags without knowing it. - At work for security. - At store with contactless payment.

2. No more cash registers in shops.

Amazon launched its first-ever brick-and-mortar store based on RFID technology, Amazon Go, in Seattle. Amazon Go looks, feels and smells like an ordinary grocery store, but comes with one huge difference: no more cashiers, no more lines, no more waiting.

RFID solutions that will change our lives. There are no cash registers in Amazon Go store. Using RFID technology items are paid automatically when you pass the RFID readers before exit. This convenient solution saves time and need for in-store workforce.

3. Knowing what is in your fridge.

No more expired products in refridgerator. RFID reader inside the refridgerator scans through all the items with RFID tag. Scanner will store data about what items you have, how much you have them and when is the expiration date of each product. Based on the data refridgerator makes recommendations.

 

4. Smart supply chain.

Digital supply chains can track and trace products from manufacturers to the end user with RFID technology. Update easily information about warehouse stocks. You don't need to scan each package with barcode scanner. RFID reader will keep you informed about the content of all the packages even 5 metres away. You can store information to RFID tags about their status and location.

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