What is RFID
Features & Benifits
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification.
In simple terms, it is like an electronic bar code that is
read by radio waves instead of light or direct contact. Each
RFID tag is made up of two main parts, an antenna that receives
the energy to power the chip and transmit data back and forth
and a chip that holds data.
RFID has many benefits over existing magnetic strip and bar
code systems. Unlike magnetic stripe cards, it needs no physical
contact, does not wear out and is not effected by magnetic
Bar codes can be reproduced on a home computer and are easily
scratched, they also take up valuable space on the card surface
that could be used for pictures, logos, advertising, branded
RFID tags can be read through clothing, skin, water, etc.
There are also no moving parts to wear out in the reader that
passes the information to the controllers. The surface of
the card can be damaged and not effect the transponder housed
safely inside it’s plastic shell, if the same was done
to a bar-code or mag-stripe, it could be rendered useless.
They also offer excellent security because the transponder
programing equipment is not readily available, and they can
not be simply reproduced on a computer and printed to a band
or card. Each tag also has it’s own unique number that
is extremely difficulty to replicate, programmed at the point
You may have come across RFID already without knowing it.
Most commonly it is seen in the application of access control
(opening doors, etc.), Or you may have had your cat or dog
implanted with a chip to identify it if it is ever lost.
Lately in the headlines you may have seen it being applied
to retail shops as an upgrade from the old fashioned bar code.
Or, you may have seen on T.V how nightclubs overseas are
implanting their clientele with implants instead of membership
cards. (This could be thought of as a little extreme, but
growing in popularity.)
One way of looking at it, is, that bar codes could be regarded
as vinyl records, magnetic striped cards as cassette tapes
and RFID as compact disks.