What is RFID

Radio Frequency Identification is an upcoming technology to track goods, vehicles, etc. It helps in inventorying, tracking and maintenance.

This basically uses RFID tags(small chip with antenna) attached to any item that needs to be tracked. The tag transmits signals regularly to the receiver(another device). When the receiver could not receive any signal from a particular tag, then the item may be moved from the original place. The receiver’s application can raise an alert through email or any other means. Based on the type of RFID tags used, the signal transmission range can vary. The different types of tags available in the market are passive, semi-passive & active.

Passive tags can transmit up to 20 feet, Semi passive tags transmit up to 60 feet & active tags transmit up to 400 feet. An use case would be, for collecting toll fee at various roads, the collection agency uses active RFID tags. These tags are fitted to the vehicles. When these vehicles pass through toll gate, the signal is transmitted to the receiver, then with the identification of the tag number & the associated vehicle details such as owner, credit card number, etc. the toll is collected automatically. There are lot of asset tracking applications available in the market. In countries like United States, there are about 1 million laptops being stolen annually from universities, health centers, etc. If managed properly through technology like RFID, lot of money & time can be saved.