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RFID - Radio Frequency Identification

RFID is a technology that allows for passive data capture and the identification of things using radio waves.

ID numbers and other data can be physically attached to things via tags and can be read with radio waves. Radio waves can be broadly scattered and can penetrate most materials. This expands the possibilities for capturing data and identifying things.

RFID systems use a radio transmitter/receiver, antennae and tags (transponders). The transmitter/receiver sends radio energy through an antenna then listens for a response from tags. Tags with unique ID numbers and other data located in the radio field receive energy from the radio transmitter, wake up, and then respond to the field with a series of pulses. These pulses are detected by the radio receiver and decoded to reconstruct the data being stored on the tag including the tag ID.

This technology is creating a revolution in the business community because it can solve problems that other traditional technologies have been unable to solve. Situations where RFID technology can improve business processes include:

• Tough environmental conditions: heat, humidity, corrosive conditions (ocean, chemical), cold, UV, etc.

• Non line of site applications: behind walls, inside machines, inside molded parts, inside bodies, underground, etc.

• Labor intensive processes: many items at one time, passive data capture, eliminating visual inspections, etc.

• High accuracy requirements: hospital, healthcare, airline, financial applications, etc.

Virtually any process that would benefit from passive data capture can benefit from this technology.

The revolution has just begun. More and more, RFID will change the way the business community works. Business processes will be built around the technology, much like bar codes have changed logistics and supply chain processes forever.