RFID readers are an easy way to keep track of your inventory and assets. They can show you what stage your items are in the supply chain and where they are located.
They can also help you locate equipment that has been misplaced or stolen. It is especially useful for expensive business assets like test equipment, transport packing and computers.
RFID readers communicate using a radio frequency signal that contains data stored on the tag’s microchip. The tag is encased in plastic, silicon or sometimes glass and is composed of an antenna and an integrated circuit (IC).
Once the RFID tag is within range of a reader, it sends electromagnetic energy back to the reader’s antenna. This electromagnetic energy induces an electric current in the tag’s IC that broadcasts its data. The reader interprets this data and turns it into useful information.
The most commonly used tags contain a unique tag ID. This tag ID is a key that allows the RFID application to retrieve more detailed data in its database.
Another common RFID application uses a microSD card with a reader to read credit and bank account information from a cellular phone and transmit it to the retailer for processing as a contactless payment transaction. Many cellular phone vendors have also adopted this technology for rewards and loyalty programs.
There are a few types of RFID tags, and they vary in their ability to be read. These include active, semi-active and passive tags.
Passive tags use a battery to power their transmission and are very low cost, and can be read quickly. They are generally about ten times faster than barcodes and are thin enough to be moulded into the casing of a product.
Active tags are more expensive than passives but can be read at a much longer distance. They can be up to tens of feet away from the reader and have a small SMD component that emits a radio chirp near an active RFID reader.
While the instant information RFID readers provide is great, it raises privacy and ethics concerns. As technology continues to grow, it is important to be sensitive to these issues and take steps to avoid them.
No Line of Sight
RFID is a technology that uses radio waves to identify objects. It is an alternative to barcodes used for many different applications. It can identify individual items, animals or people without a line of sight and can scan from inches to feet away, depending on the tag type and reader.
A RAIN RFID reader emits radio waves to read a tag’s computer chip. The power output, frequency, and directional sensitivity of the reader’s antenna determine its range and ability to communicate with a tag. It can also affect how well the tag reads when attached to materials that typically don’t work with wireless communication (such as metal or liquids).
In a distribution warehouse, an RFID reader detects a pallet and sends a request to a central application for its location. The warehousing application then uses the response to move stock to a specific bay or warehouse.
The reader can then be located anywhere in the facility to track movement and locate the items within it. It can even alert supervisors or sound alarms if someone removes the tagged items from an authorized area.
Another advantage of RFID is that it is a much more cost-effective solution than barcodes. Since it requires less space, it can be implemented in small facilities where barcodes would be impractical. It can also be used in locations where space is limited, such as the back of a truck.
Unlike barcodes, RFID tags are discreet and can be placed on almost any object. They can be attached to tools, equipment, inventory, or other items that need to be tracked.
The RFID tag can also be affixed to a person or animal, and then the reader can be placed near that item for scanning. It allows tracking animals and people in various ways, such as running times or location information.
The RFID system consists of the tag identifier, the readers or scanners to read the data and middleware or software to store the information. It also includes several other technologies, such as the Internet and wireless devices, that work together to create a complete RFID system.