Nowadays, the RFID (radio frequency identification) technology seems to have become omnipresent. It is being blended with asset management and security operations by countless agencies, organisations and enterprises. In general, RFID solutions are a kind of DSRC (dedicated short range communication) technology that use radio waves for detecting objects or people automatically, with low or zero human intervention. In other words, they are similar to the barcode identification systems that we get to see in most retail stores. However, most users are now considering RFID technology better than barcodes, and the former does not even depend on line-of-sight reading for functioning properly.
In order to achieve communication, RFID readers and tags require to be tuned to one particular frequency. A typical system can use varied frequencies for communicating. But since radio waves act and work distinctly at distinct frequencies, the frequency for any system depends greatly on its application. RFID systems with high frequency (2.4 to 2.5 GHz and 850 to 950 MHz) have transmission ranges greater than 28 metres, though wavelengths within the range of 2.4 GHz have some limitations.
RFID solutions can be utilised almost anywhere – from missiles and food to pet and clothing tags – wherever a singular identification system is required. The tags, equipped with transponder chips, can carry simple (cleaning instructions on sweater, pet owner’s info) as well as complex (how to assemble a vehicle) information.
Given below are a few instances of how radio frequency identification technology is being encompassed into various applications:
- Many hospitals and healthcare facilities are using RFID systems for tracking the location of patients as well as nurses and doctors. Moreover, the same systems are also serving the purpose of inventory tracking and controlling access to paediatrics, drugs and restricted areas.
- RFID workforce management solutions are being adopted by many organisations for managing and identifying their people and assets more efficiently. These solutions are encompassing web technologies and mobile computing for delivering an absolute batch of tools which entirely eliminate paperwork.
- Transponder chips are being injected under the skin of animals for effective identification. When the chips are scanned, they provide detailed information about the animal’s history as well as its owner.
Many see radio frequency identification technology as the frontrunner of automatic data collection and management. The greatest benefit would be reaped by supply chain management systems, where transponder tags can be attached to products for tracking them right from the point of manufacturing to shipment.