What is RFID ?
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID is one member in the family of Automatic Identification and Data Capture ( AIDC ) technologies and is a fast and reliable means of identifying objects. There are two main components: The Interrogator (RFID Reader) which transmits and receives the signal and the Transponder (tag) that is attached to the object. An RFID tag is composed of a miniscule microchip and antenna. RFID tags can be passive or active and come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and forms. Communication between the RFID Reader and tags occurs wirelessly and therefore does not require a line of sight between the devices. An RFID Reader can read through most anything with the exception of conductive materials like water and metal, but with modifications and positioning, even these can be overcome. The RFID Reader emits a low-power radio wave field which is used to power up the tag so as to pass on any information that is contained on the chip. In addition, readers can be fitted with an additional interface that converts the radio waves returned from the tag into a form that can then be passed on to another system, like a computer or any programmable logic controller. Passive tags are generally smaller, lighter and less expensive than those that are active and can be applied to objects in harsh environments, are maintenance free and will last for years. These transponders are only activated when within the response range of an RFID Reader. Active tags differ in that they incorporate their own power source, where as the tag is a transmitter rather than a reflector of radio frequency signals which enables a broader range of functionality like programmable and read/write capabilities.