Among all the automatic identification technologies, Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) is the most important one and is regarded as one of the most promising information technologies in the 21st century. Why? Let’s take a new look at RFID the powerful automatic identification technology: What characteristics does it have? What are the advantages over other automatic identification technologies? What are its typical applications?…
Radio Frequency Identification Technology Features
Radio frequency identification technology automatically identifies the target object and obtains the relevant data through the radio frequency signal. Radio frequency identification technology has the following characteristics:
Applicability: RFID technology relies on electromagnetic waves and does not require physical contact between the two sides, enabling it to establish connections without visual dust, fog, plastic, paper, wood, and various obstacles to complete communication directly.
High efficiency: the read and write speed of the RFID system is extremely fast, and a typical RFID transmission process is usually less than 100ms. High-frequency RFID readers can even identify and read the contents of multiple tags at the same time, which greatly improves the efficiency of information transmission.
Uniqueness: each RFID tag is unique, through the one-to-one correspondence between the RFID tag and the product, you can clearly track the follow-up circulation of each product.
Simplicity: RFID tag has the advantages of simple structure, high recognition rate, and simple reading equipment. Especially with the gradual popularity of NFC technology in smartphones, each user’s mobile phone will become the simplest RFID reader.
Development of RFID Identification
The history of radiofrequency technology can be traced back to the 1930s. The physical principle of RFID technology is the same as that of radio broadcasting invented in the 19th century. In the 1930s, the United States Army and Navy were faced with the problem of identifying targets on the ground, at sea, and in the air. The United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed the identification friend-or-foe (IFF) in 1937, which can identify friendly and enemy aircraft.
This technology became the basis of the world’s air traffic control system in the late 1950s. However, due to the high cost and large size of equipment, it is generally only used in military or laboratories and large commercial enterprises.
With the emergence of smaller and lower-cost technologies, such as integrated circuits, programmable memory chips, microprocessors, and modern software applications and programming language technologies, radio frequency identification has gradually become the mainstream of commercial applications.
By the end of the 20th century, many radio frequency identification applications began to expand around the world, including access control systems, flight baggage identification, car anti-theft, electronic payment, etc.
In the 21st century, thanks to the development of RFID technology, RFID tag has the characteristics of long-distance, one-to-many reading, lightweight and miniaturization, signal penetration and stain resistance, reusability, high storage capacity, etc. And it attracts more and more attention in the automatic identification.
RFID VS Other Automatic Identification Technologies
Compared with bar code recognition, magnetic card recognition technology, and IC card recognition technology, RFID has many advantages, that is why it gradually becomes one of the best and most widely used technologies in automatic recognition. The main features of RFID include the following four aspects.
1、Data Reading and Writing: Through RFID Reader, the message can be read directly into the database without contact, and multiple tags can be processed simultaneously. And the processed state can be written into the tag for reading judgment in the next stage of data processing.
2、Miniaturization and Diversified Shapes: The reading of RFID is not limited by size and shape, and there is no need to match the fixed size and printing quality of the paper for reading accuracy. Also, RFID tags can be miniaturized and developed in various forms to be used in different products.
3、Environmental Tolerance: As soon as the barcode is soiled, it will not be seen, but RFID has a strong resistance to substances such as water, oil, and drugs. RFID can also read data in dark or dirty environments.
4、Reusable: Since RFID data is electronic and can be overwritten repeatedly, it can be recycled and reused. Passive RFID tags, which can be used without batteries, do not need maintenance.
Typical Applications of RFID Identification
RFID can recognize high-speed moving objects and can identify multiple tags at the same time, coupled with its excellent penetration performance, so it has a wide range of recognition objects, including people, animals, cars, metal tools, various commodities and so on, and has been used in a variety of industries. Now we will introduce some typical applications.
RFID vehicle identification provides a more efficient and convenient service for urban traffic management, parking lot service, highway toll collection, etc. RFID tags play a vital role in realizing the remote automatic identification of vehicles.
RFID tags for vehicle recognition are usually RFID UHF tags that have a longer read distance，such as UHF windshield tag，RFID vehicle headlight label. UHF windshield tag is generally affixed to the windshield of the car; RFID vehicle headlight label is transparent, attached to the headlights of the car, easy to identify. Besides, RFID parking cards and RFID electronic license plates are both often used for RFID car identification.
RFID technology can create a unique electronic ID card for animals to help pet hospitals, animal husbandry, zoos, and wildlife management centers to better manage animals. For example, they can easily and quickly obtain animal identity, quarantine, reproduction, life cycle, and other data by identifying RFID tags.
At present, there are many kinds of RFID animal tags. The animal ear tag is a more economical one, which is resistant to high temperature and ultraviolet light, but it is at risk of falling off and is often used in animal husbandry and livestock management; animal glass tube tags are injection tags that can be directly implanted under the skin of animals to achieve permanent wear; RFID epoxy cards are generally used for pet identification and management, to prevent pets from getting lost, or to record pet files.
Product Anti-counterfeit Identification
RFID technology provides a more effective method for product anti-counterfeiting. Consumers can scan the RFID tags attached to the products to query and know the relevant information of the products, avoiding buying fake and shoddy products. And business can use RFID anti-counterfeiting tags to enhance their brand trust and user experience.
NFC anti-counterfeiting tag is our common product anti-counterfeiting label. Users can know the product information directly through mobile phone scanning. Moreover, RFID fragile tags, such as ceramic tags, cannot work well when they are removed and destroyed, very suitable for anti-counterfeiting identification.
Human identification is the most common application. In China, RFID identification technology is directly applied to the citizen ID card. Nowadays, more and more countries apply RFID technology to e-passports. Also, RFID identification technology is more applied to personnel identification and management.
For example, schools can use RFID student cards to quickly identify students, managing and ensuring the safety of students; enterprises adopt the RFID identification system to achieve employee access control and attendance; hotels or gyms use RFID membership cards to identify members, providing them with higher services and improving user experience.