Explain the technology or area -- what is it? What does it do? What value might it offer?
RFID stands for Radio frequency identification. RFIDs are technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. RFIDs work by storing a serial number that identifies a person, object, or some other information on a microchip that is attached to an antenna (the chip and the antenna together are called an RFID transponder or an RFID tag). The antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that can then be passed on to computers that can make use of it.
RFID systems can be used just about anywhere that a unique identification system is needed. The tag can carry information as simple as a pet owners name and address or the cleaning instruction on a sweater to as complex as instructions on how to assemble a car.
One of the key differences between RFID and bar code technology is RFID eliminates the need for line-of-sight reading that bar coding depends on. Also, RFID scanning can be done at greater distances than bar code scanning. High frequency RFID systems offer transmission ranges of more than 90 feet, although some wavelengths are absorbed by water (the human body) and therefore RFIDs have limitations.
The value that RFIDs can offer is that they can greatly reduce the time it takes to gather and store critical information. The ease with which information can be scanned also vastly increases the amount and range of data that can be collected. There is no contact or line of sight necessary when scanning the RFIDs, and they allow for simultaneous reading of multiple items. The amount of time and money saved, combined with the benefits that the vast data can provide can help create a competitive advantage for any company that invests in RFIDs.
What are the common features of the technology and products/services in the...