What is RFID?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless technology which utilizes radio signals allowing electronic identification and object labelling. This technology works with an organization's information technology infrastructure and assists the tracking of objects, such as inventory, in order to improve business processes like supply chain management (1).
How it Works
The RFID system consists of three main components (2):
-Tags: Also known as transponders or contactless data carriers, they can have information data embedded in them and identify the object to which they are attached.
-Readers: They communicate wirelessly with the RFID tags.
-Software Application: The application (in a workstation or PC) reads and/or writes information data to and/or from the tags via the reader.
Antennas that emit and receive electromagnetic waves are attached onto both the tags and the reader. The reader transmits a radio frequency signal in order to activate the tag and then reads and/or writes digital data on it.
When items are received, stored, or shipped, these tags perform like barcodes, in which information data can be retrieved by a reader linked to a local server. These tags comprise of basic and necessary information data such as the item's name, the manufactured date, and the expiry date (2). See Appendix (a) for a diagram showing how all the components are connected together.
RFID vs. Barcodes
In regards to capacity, RFID tags are able to store at least as much information data as in a barcode system (1-100 bytes). RFID tags have the capability of holding a memory volume that is "comparable to that of a personal computer commercialized a decade ago" (2). Dissimilar to barcodes, where information data content cannot be edited, RFID tags can be repeatedly read and written. The RFID system also has better security than the barcode system...